With Edgbaston hosting the second semi-final on Thursday 11 July and the reserve day scheduled for Friday 12 July – Warwickshire will head down the M5 to face Essex at Blackfinch New Road.
Warwickshire’s Specsavers County Championship fixture against Essex, which starts on Saturday 13 July, will take place at Worcestershire’s Blackfinch New Road Ground.
With the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup taking place in England and Wales during June and July, it has been well documented that Warwickshire will have to play at least one home County Championship fixture away from Edgbaston.
Warwickshire have investigated the possibility of using an out ground within the county, but with Edgbaston hosting the second semi-final on Thursday 11 July and the reserve day scheduled for Friday 12 July – the Edgbaston staff will be required to be on-site throughout this period and are therefore not available to assist in the running of a first-class match at an out ground in Warwickshire.
The club also considered using the Edgbaston Community Sports Ground, Portland Road, but the ground at present is not currently capable of hosting first-class cricket. Therefore, the decision was made to choose a local first-class venue with Blackfinch New Road being the most suitable.
“I’d personally like to thank Matt Rawnsley and his team at Worcestershire CCC for their cooperation and for agreeing to host this fixture,” said, CEO of Warwickshire CCC, Neil Snowball.
“We know that Blackfinch New Road is always a very popular venue for cricket fans and after plenty of discussion and consideration, we believe that this is our best option for this important fixture. We are also mindful of the fact that our members always enjoy their visits to Worcester and so this chance to play a four-day County Championship match at Blackfinch New Road will hopefully be well received.”
Members from both Warwickshire CCC and Essex CCC, as well as Worcestershire CCC, will be able to use the Blackfinch New Road facilities during the fixture free of charge and further details on pricing for non-members will be announced in due course.
“We are delighted to be hosting five matches in the Cricket World Cup, including a semi-final, giving us the opportunity to showcase Edgbaston’s world class facilities and unique atmosphere to the world,” Snowball added.
“We are actively exploring our options for 2020, when we know that the 50-over competition is likely to be played away from Edgbaston, and we will be considering the use of out grounds for these matches in addition to the use of the Edgbaston Community Sports Ground.”
Warwickshire will start the 2019 Specsavers County Championship by taking on Kent at Edgbaston from Thursday 11 April.
The Bears, who sealed the Division Two title of the Specsavers County Championship by defeating second placed Kent in the final game of 2018, will play at least one Championship game at home in each month of the coming season and finish at home to Yorkshire on Monday 23 September.
In addition to visits to the Cooper Associates County Ground Taunton, the Kia Oval, Canterbury, the Ageas Bowl, Chelmsford and Trent Bridge, Warwickshire will make a first visit to Clifton Park in York for only the second First Class game to be played in the historic city.