The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has unveiled the eight stadia which will host its new Twenty20 competition, with England Test matches set to be staged at their traditional homes across a five-year cycle.
The ECB has introduced a new hosting rights model in determining the venues for its men’s international fixtures and domestic showpieces across the period spanning 2020 to 2024.
The eight venues granted teams for the new T20 tournament are: Lord’s, the home of Middlesex; the Kia Oval (Surrey); Edgbaston (Warwickshire); Trent Bridge (Nottinghamshire); Emirates Old Trafford (Lancashire); Emerald Headingley (Yorkshire); Ageas Bowl (Hampshire) and the SSE SWALEC Stadium (Glamorgan).
The ECB said that following submissions for the new competition, which is set to launch in the summer of 2020, the eight venues were chosen around which new partnerships would be formed and new teams created. Together, the ECB said they provide a strong geographical spread, high capacity for attendance, quality experience and access for the widest audience.
The ECB’s new system for assigning hosting rights has seen grounds pitch for hosting rights, rather than the previous process of bidding against each other, which had an adverse effect on the finances of some counties.
An independent Host Venue Panel, led by ECB deputy chairman Ian Lovett, determined that 10 different venues will stage high profile international and domestic men’s matches. England Test matches are set to be held at the core venues of Lord’s, the Oval, Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Headingley and Trent Bridge over the five-year period.
Lord’s, the ‘home’ of cricket in London, will stage two Tests per summer over the five-year period. For the showpiece 2023 Ashes series against Australia, the venues have been announced as Lord’s, the Oval, Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Headingley. This means that Trent Bridge, renowned as a fortress for England during Ashes series, will not host a Test having also missed out for 2019.
The Ageas Bowl, SSE SWALEC Stadium and Durham’s Emirates Riverside, which have hosted Test matches in recent years, will only stage one-day internationals and Twenty20 games under the new plan.
Meanwhile, Edgbaston will be the exclusive host of the T20 Blast Finals, having hosted the existing T20 event nine times to date. Trent Bridge becomes the new home for the final of the 50-over competition from 2020 onwards, which has traditionally been staged at Lord’s.
Lovett said: “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.
“The ECB Board recognised the quality and integrity of the process and has endorsed the recommendations, with the next stage the detailed discussion and agreement with each of these selected venues.”