Warwickshire can start planning ahead with real confidence after receiving an excellent allocation of major matches up to 2024, says chief executive Neil Snowball.
The club learned last month that Edgbaston will host 31 days of major match cricket from 2020 to 2024, including an Ashes Test in 2023, and will also be home to a team in the new T20 competition.
We continue to invest heavily in the facilities at Edgbaston. It’s a Forth Road bridge job – we are constantly reinvesting in the venue to ensure that it remains one of the stand-out venues in cricket.Neil Snowball
It is exactly the sort of allocation for which the Bears had hoped and means that sustained investment in the stadium, which is ongoing this winter, will continue.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the major match award,” Snowball said. “To get such a strong award is a real vote of confidence from the ECB. They have trusted us with the biggest matches and that, on top of hosting one of the teams in the new T20 competition in 2020, really does give us confidence to plan ahead over the next seven years.
“There is no doubt the new T20 competition is a huge part of the future of the game. We need to have a strong T20 league in this country to compete with others around the world. It is part of the future and it’s important that we invest in that to make it a success.
“I know that some of our members are concerned that it could be at the expense of championship cricket of 50-over cricket or even the current T20. But at Warwickshire we remain fully committed to the traditional formats of the game, while knowing that we also need to embrace the new format.”
The award of such a heavy major match schedule for the coming years underlines Edgbaston’s status as one of world cricket’s top venues – and also maintains the pressure on Warwickshire to ensure it stays that way.
“We continue to invest heavily in the facilities at Edgbaston,” Snowball said. “We are doing quite a few digital projects around the stadium this winter and have invested in the control room to enhance the way we communicate with spectators on match-days. We are also doing a lot with the kiosks and display-boards around the site. It’s a Forth Road bridge job – we are constantly reinvesting in the venue to ensure that it remains one of the stand-out venues in cricket.”