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5th December 2016, 15:15 #1
ECB considering using Olympic Stadium to host 2019 Cricket World Cup games
The Olympic Stadium is being seriously considered as a venue for the 2019 Cricket World Cup as part of plans to use the tournament to grow the sport’s appeal. It is also being considered as a venue for the opening ceremony of the competition.
The England and Wales Cricket Board believes that awarding World Cup games to the London Stadium, as it is now known, could help to introduce a new generation of fans to the sport, as well as servicing the huge interest in some matches. Demand for the India-Pakistan fixture in next year’s Champions Trophy, which is being played at Edgbaston, was such that the ECB believes that the game could have been sold out eight times over.
Ticket prices for matches at the London Stadium could also be lowered, because the venue can host 60,000 people for cricket, more than twice as many as any other cricket ground in the UK.
Essex’s chief executive has already said that the county’s “objective” is to play two or more Twenty20 matches at the London Stadium in 2018. The ECB will discuss the ground’s suitability to host major matches with Essex in the coming days and the ECB intends to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study to determine whether World Cup fixtures could be played there.
It must explore not only whether the playing surface would be large enough for one-day international cricket, but also how to prepare a wicket in time, potentially using drop-in pitches, given that the stadium is normally used by West Ham United. The 2019 World Cup is scheduled to run from 30 May to 15 July, outside the football season.
Taking Cricket World Cup games to the London Stadiumhe idea would be controversial. While the size of the boundaries remains unknown, a county chief executive suggested that they “would be ridiculously short for international cricket, and would compromise the credibility of the game”. Eden Park in New Zealand, which was designed for rugby union, has unusually small straight boundaries and contravenes the International Cricket Council’s regulations, but has dispensation to be able to host games, including at the World Cup last year. The London Stadium might also need to apply for an exemption from ground-size requirements.
Many counties would also be unhappy if the London Stadium is chosen to host games. The 11 venues for the 2019 World Cup were chosen at the end of 2014, with each ground awarded a specific number of matches out of the 48 in the tournament. Were the Olympic Stadium to host games, other grounds would lose out, adding to tensions between counties and the ECB at a time when the ECB is attempting to push forward with a new streamlined Twenty20 domestic competition – a tournament for which the London Stadium will also be considered.
“The ECB risks undermining the sustainability of current international grounds. If we need bigger capacity then the ECB should assist existing grounds to increase capacity,” said one county chief executive, warning that it would “be seen as a betrayal of the game in England”, and suggesting that counties who lost matches could resort to legal action. However, it is possible that the ECB could generously compensate grounds whose allocation of World Cup matches was reduced. The London Stadium would be unlikely to host more than three games in the tournament.
“There would be anger if someone misses out,” another county chief executive said. “From a positive side if you can fill the Olympic stadium for cricket that’s no bad thing for cricket.”
The determination to explore the possibility of using the London Stadium reflects the ECB’s belief that the World Cup can help to develop interest in cricket among untapped segments of the population. It has long been felt that the 1999 World Cup – which began with a tepid firework display at Lord’s, and saw England knocked out before the official World Cup song was released – was a missed opportunity to reinvigorate English cricket.
The ECB is also exploring hosting a stand-alone opening ceremony, staged the evening before the first game of the tournament. The London Stadium is being considered as a candidate to host it, while fan zones around the country are another idea being explored to help promote the event.
“We are in the early stages of planning for 2019 and having a number of discussions with multiple venues as we develop the plans, including opening ceremonies, fan zones and inner city activations,” said Steve Elworthy, the managing director of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. “The finalised schedule will only be announced after the team qualification process is complete and the ICC confirm the venues and match schedule.”
The identity of the 10 competing nations in the World Cup will be confirmed only after the end of the qualifying tournament in April 2018.
20th January 2017, 21:38 #2
2019 Cricket World Cup: London Stadium major step closer to staging matchesLondon Stadium is a major step closer to hosting matches at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, after it was found to have a potential playing surface big enough for one-day internationals.
It emerged last month the England and Wales Cricket Board was considering high-capacity venues at the request of the International Cricket Council.
The 60,000-seat London Stadium is much larger than any UK cricket ground.
However, a number of other feasibility issues must be addressed.
To stage cricket, the stadium's seating configuration would be similar to that used for athletics, rather than as employed by tenants West Ham United for football matches.
Obstacles to overcome include the cost-effectiveness of turfing the entire playing area and the suitability of drop-in pitches, which are rarely used in the UK.
And, even though the tournament, which runs from 30 May to 15 July, is unlikely to encroach on either the football season or athletics' Anniversary Games, there must be sufficient time to convert the stadium.
If all of these challenges can be met then it is likely the stadium, which hosted the 2012 Olympics, will be used for a small portion of the World Cup, perhaps a one-week window, rather than throughout the seven-week competition.
Eleven traditional cricket venues - Lord's, The Oval, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Headingley, Cardiff, Southampton, Chester-le-Street, Taunton and Bristol - are in line to host matches.
Of that list, Lord's has the highest capacity - about 30,000.
However, the ICC is keen to replicate the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which saw attendances in excess of 90,000 in Melbourne, and games held at other large stadiums in Sydney, Adelaide and Auckland.
Of those, Auckland's Eden Park, traditionally a rugby ground, has dimensions that left the straight boundaries incredibly short.
London Stadium has previously been considered by Essex for domestic Twenty20 matches.
20th January 2017, 22:34 #3
That'd be lit
"Be the best version of yourself"
21st January 2017, 00:19 #4Tape Ball Star
- Jul 2016
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I watched the semi final at Eden Park in 2015, could not believe how small were the boundaries, particularly the straight one. I'm sure London Stadium would have bigger. Will nice to watch final there. I'm already planning.
21st January 2017, 04:20 #5
Cricket is not meant to be played on rectangular grounds.
Is a joke
Originally Posted by Saqs on Steve Smith
21st January 2017, 04:29 #6
21st January 2017, 04:48 #7
21st January 2017, 05:53 #8
2019 World Cup is going to be incredible. England is always a great place to play cricket and it has the best overseas Pakistani crowd. On top of that, the best ever English team of all time starting as one of the overwhelming favorites.
2011 was brilliant too, but ANZ did an awful job in 2015.
21st January 2017, 06:05 #9
21st January 2017, 06:25 #10Local Club Regular
- Jan 2017
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21st January 2017, 08:04 #11Local Club Captain
- Dec 2015
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20th March 2017, 21:21 #12
London Stadium to host one England group match at 2019 cricket World Cup
A deal was close to being struck on Monday that would see England play one of their 2019 World Cup group matches at the London Stadium.
The England & Wales Cricket Board was in advanced negotiations to stage two of the tournament’s highest-profile fixtures in front of what would be record crowds for cricket in the UK.
One of those games at the 60,000-seater London 2012 centrepiece would be an England group match – with their clash against Australia looking like the prime candidate.
The second would be one of the other 44 group fixtures most likely to sell out, such as India v Pakistan.
Confirming the ECB was keen to stage games at the stadium, chief executive Tom Harrison said on Monday: “It would be an amazing statement to have 55,000 to 60,000 people in a ground in the UK watching World Cup cricket.”
An inspection of the ground in January found that the pitch dimensions complied with the necessary requirements for staging one-day internationals.
Harrison added: “It has the right dimensions to play meaningful cricket and there not a lot of other stadiums around the country have got the capacity to fit the boundaries in.
“We will have to tweak the orientation of the ground slightly. There are minimum boundaries that we have to deliver.”
A drop-in pitch would be used for the two fixtures, with the managing director of the 2019 World Cup, Steve Elworthy, having visited New Zealand – where such wickets are more common – in a bid to ensure the playing surface would be of a high enough standard.
What would amount to a test event could also be held at the London Stadium next year in the shape of an Essex Twenty20 fixture.
West Ham United’s home boasts twice the capacity of any cricket ground in the UK and its use for the World Cup, which has the full backing of the International Cricket Council, is seen as a way of helping turbo-charge the tournament.
There was talk of staging the opening ceremony there as well but that has been ruled out. The O2 Arena is understood to be among the alternative options.
Using the London Stadium for World Cup matches would not be without controversy, with the ECB having guaranteed 11 venues a certain number of games in the tournament back in 2014.
Some of the additional revenue generated could be used to compensate those venues which lose out.
20th March 2017, 21:45 #13Junior Player
- Feb 2012
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