Red Rose can flower in hosting international cricket

Lancashire chairman David Hodgkiss
Lancashire chairman David Hodgkiss

Lancashire CCC chairman David Hodgkiss has spoken of his pride after the county was awarded a top international match package.

It was announced earlier this week that the Red Rose had been chosen to stage international fixtures at Emirates Old Trafford from 2020-2024.

That cycle includes an Ashes Test in 2023, while the club has also been chosen as a host venue for the new, eight-team T20 competition that starts in 2020.

The competition will see the return of live English cricket to free-to-air television for the first time since the 2005 Ashes and will see domestic cricket return to the BBC including substantial radio and digital rights.

Mr Hodgkiss said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this comprehensive package of international matches from 2020-2024 which includes an Ashes Test and a further 56 days of top level cricket, plus being named as a host for the New T20 competition. It truly shows how Emirates Old Trafford has become one of the leading venues in world cricket.

“As a club, we are determined to grow the game of cricket across all communities in the county of Lancashire and the North West as a whole, with families and supporters able to watch, at affordable prices, some of the best cricket and greatest players in Manchester over the coming years.

“Emirates Old Trafford has been a Test venue for over 130 years and we are proud of our rich heritage and history in hosting international fixtures. To host the Ashes in 2023, following on from 2019, is one of the ‘moments’ of cricket both from a playing, watching and hosting perspective, and will enable our vision of re-engaging our core cricket audiences across over 300 clubs in Lancashire, as well as every school in the North West, and attracting new fans through the new T20 tournament.”

The club will host Tests against Pakistan (2020), India (2021), Australia (2023) and a further Test in 2024 (opposition TBC), International T20s against Australia (2020), Pakistan (2021), India (2022) and two further IT20 fixtures in 2023 and 2024 (both opposition TBC) and a One-Day International against South Africa (2022).

Emirates Old Trafford has undergone a £60m refurbishment which came to completion after nine years in 2017, including The Point, the redevelopment of the Pavilion, the media centre and the opening of the Hilton Garden Inn.

Mr Hodgkiss added: “We are very proud of the continued redevelopment of Emirates Old Trafford over the last 10 years, and in the process, create a long term, robust and sustainable financial business, that allows Lancashire Cricket, and the game as a whole, to flourish and develop across the region.

“The club is no longer financially reliant on individual days of cricket and this comprehensive allocation of fixtures, along with the new Hilton Garden Inn hotel and a flourishing conference and events business, will see us achieve the aim of financial stability in the coming years.”