A STATE-of-the-art £1.5million, 10-bay all-weather cricket dome has been officially opened in Bradford Park Avenue.

The facility – the first of its kind – is funded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in partnership with Bradford Council, and is set to provide cricket sessions for 10,000 people from the community each year.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A state-of-the-art cricket dome was officially opened at Bradford Park Avenue.A state-of-the-art cricket dome was officially opened at Bradford Park Avenue. (Image: Newsquest)

The building features two 40mx20m covered domes with a state-of-the-art lighting system, an elite cricket surface, and a retractable netting system enabling both training and matchplay.

It replicates the features of an elite indoor facility and will enable local cricketers to play all year round and in any weather.

Bradford Park Avenue has become a community hub in the area since the existing infrastructure was built in 2017, with Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC), Northern Diamonds, The Hundred’s Northern Superchargers as well as recreational clubs from across the region all utilising the facility.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Cricketers enjoy the new facilities at the cricket dome.Cricketers enjoy the new facilities at the cricket dome. (Image: Newsquest)

In addition to the new facility, Bradford Park Avenue will become a grounds management training centre as part of a £1 million+ pitch improvement project, which will benefit 30 grounds within a 30-mile radius.

Investment has been led by the ECB with additional support from the Grounds Management Association and funding from the Football Foundation, Sport England, and Bradford Council.

The pitch improvement project will be run by Nasa Hussain, Bradford Park Avenue’s head grounds manager, and will deliver improvements at all 30 grounds, creating volunteering and training opportunities for the local community in the process.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Inside the new cricket dome at Bradford Park Avenue.Inside the new cricket dome at Bradford Park Avenue. (Image: Newsquest)

ECB Chair Richard Thompson said: “This is a hugely exciting development and we’re really pleased to be able to contribute to a facility that enables more people across the region to access cricket.

“We’ve taken an innovative approach to ensuring year-round access to cricket facilities in a community hub that acts as something of a model for how we want to support cricket in regions across England and Wales moving forward.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The outside of the new cricket dome.The outside of the new cricket dome. (Image: Newsquest)

“The promise of pitch improvements in the wider area will also be of great benefit to many cricketers, and we’re equally delighted to be able to contribute to that.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said: “Bradford Park Avenue is part of Bradford’s history but now it is very much part of Bradford’s future, with access to state-of-the-art sports facilities playing a vital part of our ambition to support people’s health and wellbeing.

“I look forward to hearing about all the fantastic opportunities the new facilities will bring and hope to see future cricketers follow in the footsteps of Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, MBE and Harry Brook who were recently awarded the honour of Freeman of the City and Shivanie Patel, who was instrumental in setting up the ladies cricket team at Bradford Park Avenue.”

Harry Chathli, chair of YCCC, added: “We are pleased to have opened the state-of-the-art all-weather cricketing nets at this historic cricket ground. Bradford Park Avenue has provided practice facilities to over 30 clubs located in its vicinity.

“With the support of Bradford Council and the ECB, we have been able to double the capacity and can now offer approximately 10,000 cricketers use of the nets all year round.

“Park Avenue’s ambitions have been to return the ground and facilities to its former glory so that recreational clubs, and our own YCCC teams can see this as a ground to be used in addition to the established outgrounds of Scarborough and York.”

Yaseen Mohammed, non-executive director for YCCC, and chair of Bradford Park Avenue, added: “We’re delighted to have been chosen to lead the new grounds management project and are looking forward to working with a large number of our local clubs to enhance what they are able to offer.

“We are incredibly lucky in Bradford to be surrounded by a vast number of very well-run cricket clubs and this project should only help to improve standards across the board.

“This is another exciting moment for both Park Avenue Bradford and our surrounding communities. The popularity of the existing infrastructure has been through the roof, and with the ability to facilitate training in all-weathers and throughout the year, the new developments will make a huge impact.

“We are another step closer to returning Park Avenue to its former glory, to be a real cricketing hub in the area and welcome in players and teams from junior cricket, all the way up to international cricketers.”