Headingley has been awarded the lucrative double of an India and an Ashes Tests during the ECB’s major match allocation for 2020-2024. Yorkshire’s ground will also be one of the host venues for the new eight-team T20 competition, along with Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl – which missed out on an Ashes Test – Lord’s, The Oval, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Cardiff.
Trent Bridge, a stronghold for England, is also absent from the list of the venues for the 2023 Ashes, but the ground will become the home of the 50-over competition final from 2020, instead of Lord’s. Edgbaston will continue to host T20 Finals Day.
Lord’s is also a notable victor from the process, retaining the right to host two Tests a year despite a reduction in the overall programme. Like Headingley, Old Trafford was awarded Tests featuring India and Australia, while Edgbaston and Trent Bridge also host four Tests in the five-year cycle.
The omission of Southampton for an Ashes Test is something of a surprise. One of the packages of matches offered by the ECB – featuring only one Test in the cycle – looked to be designed with the ground in mind. Durham, meanwhile, failed in their attempt to argue they should provide one of the homes for the new T20 sides but have been awarded an ODI in each summer from 2020.
Work began over the winter at Headingley to rebuild the old Rugby Stand. The threat of a withdrawal of funding for the project last year had led to concerns about the future of the ground as an international venue.
More to follow…