ENGLAND VENUES LIST
The five Ashes matches in 2023 will take place at Lord’s, the Oval, Edgbaston, Headingley and Old Trafford, the same five venues who will host the 2019 series. © Getty
The ECB has confirmed the venues for the new eight team T20 competition which will begin in 2020 with Edgbaston, Trent Bridge, the Oval, Lord’s, the Ageas Bowl, Cardiff, Old Trafford and Headingley all hosting teams.
The venues for international cricket between 2020-2024 have also been decided with no Ashes Test to be played at Trent Bridge in 2023, despite England winning their last three Tests against Australia at the ground. The five Ashes matches in 2023 will take place at Lord’s, the Oval, Edgbaston, Headingley and Old Trafford, the same five venues who will host the 2019 series.
Elsewhere, the venues for the domestic finals have been decided with Trent Bridge being chosen to host the final of the 50-over competition for the five years between 2020 and 2024 and Edgbaston, as it has done for a number of years, hosting the T20 Blast Finals Day during the same period. By hosting the 50-over final in Nottigham, it ends the traditional Lord’s one-day final which has been a staple of the domestic season.
Despite missing out on an Ashes Tests, Trent Bridge has been awarded Tests in four of the other five years of the next cycle. “We would have very much liked to have staged an Ashes Test,” said Notts Chief Executive Lisa Pursehouse. “However, given the reduction to six matches per year, it was a hugely competitive bid process for Test cricket, so we are very happy that we have secured four in the five-year period. That was our number one priority.”
From 2020, England’s Test programme will be reduced to six Tests per summer from the current seven with two series of three Tests the usual schedule except in Ashes summers to cater for the new Test Championship. Wednesday’s decision has confirmed that Lord’s has retained two Tests per summer as it currently has. This will allow both touring teams to play at the prestigious ground each year.
The choice of teams for the new T20 tournament is not a surprise with the biggest capacity stadiums and the biggest cities chosen as host venues. Although it was thought that some individual games could be taken to other venues such as Bristol or the Olympic Stadium in London, that has not materialised. Work will now begin, in conjunction with the eight venues, to decide the names of each team.
Durham, Taunton and Bristol were the venues overlooked as hosts for the new T20 competition despite all three venues putting in bids. Instead, Durham and Bristol will host various England limited overs games during the period with Durham, who were stripped of Test match status in 2016 because of their well publicised financial difficulties, hosting one ODI in each of the five years. Taunton has not been awarded any matches after hosting a T20 last year.
Durham County Cricket Club Chairman, Sir Ian Botham, said: “We’re delighted to have secured international cricket at Emirates Riverside. Although we’re disappointed with not being given the chance to host one of the regional teams in the new T20 tournament, we will continue to back the competition and encourage sports fans to get behind it.”
In part, Durham’s woes were prompted by the large costs of staging Tests against Australia and Sri Lanka in 2013 and 2014. It prompted a re-think in how venues now apply for games with the old system of host grounds paying staging fees to the ECB and bidding against each other – which some venues then struggled to recoup from less high-profile matches – replaced with a revenue sharing model from ticket sales.
The recommendations from the independent Host Venue Panel which puts forward the ground selections were unanimously agreed by the ECB Board on Wednesday (February 14). Ian Lovett, chair of the Host Venue Panel and Deputy Chairman of ECB, said: “Today’s decision followed a rigorous, comprehensive and detailed process by the independent Host Venue Panel.
“With a five-year period of international and domestic cricket in prospect, as well as our New Competition being developed, there was very strong interest in hosting these events and the overall standard of submissions was excellent.
“From the start of the process we had clear objectives, set a strong methodology and made best use of all relevant data and insight. To help to assess the submissions a balanced scorecard was used, with key aspects up-weighted to meet the needs of each specific set of matches.”