York CC pavilion
Yorkshire County Cricket Club will host Warwickshire in the Specsavers County Championship at York Cricket Club, Clifton Park, York,
The fixture will take place between Monday 17th & Thursday 20th June.
It will be only the second ever Championship fixture played in the City and the first for over a century.
The club, in a statement accompanying today’s fixtures release, says,
“Yorkshire are taking Specsavers County Championship cricket to York next June.
The White Rose county will face newly-promoted Warwickshire at Clifton Park, starting Monday June 17.
Although Yorkshire do not expect to take Championship cricket back to York beyond 2019, they have entered into a three-year agreement with the club to take List A cricket there in 2020 and 2021.
York are also receiving an ECB grant as part of the agreement to further improve their already impressive facilities.
The only previous county match to be played in York was a Championship match at Wiggington Road in 1890 when Yorkshire beat Kent.
The news comes as part of the ECB’s release of the domestic schedule for the forthcoming summer, one which Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur describes as the most exciting ever.
Emerald Headingley will host four one-day World Cup matches, an Ashes Test, while Yorkshire have a host of mouthwatering fixtures, including the usual two Championship matches at Scarborough and away games against champions Surrey at Guildford (June 10-13) and Kent, the other promoted side, at Canterbury (May 14-17).
The season begins with the usual three-day friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities, this time at Weetwood from Sunday March 31.
Yorkshire then play their first Championship Division One match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge from Friday April 5.
Yorkshire, who have only once played a Championship match as early in the year, will start the season with three successive away Championship matches, partly to try and avoid a repeat of last season’s washed out opener against Essex at Emerald Headingley.
“It’s effectively a one off for the Championship at York,” said Arthur.
“Unless something unplanned happens, we won’t be able to take four-day cricket back there in the foreseeable future because we are committed to both Scarborough and Emerald Headingley.
“The rationale behind it is this. Bradford (Park Avenue) isn’t ready yet. The square is ready, but the infrastructure isn’t capable of hosting first-class cricket at this time. The ECB also inspected Sheffield Collegiate, and the facilities aren’t ready yet either.
“Our options were York or go to Scarborough on three occasions.
“We felt that three at Scarborough wouldn’t only be a costly exercise, it might also spread the audience over three matches and not two.
“York have done such a fantastic job for us at second XI level and with the Diamonds.
“The quality of their pitches and infrastructure is excellent. We thought it was a great opportunity to take a game there.
“For our membership, York is our second largest catchment area outside Leeds. From that point of view, it’s better being there than travelling to Scarborough again.
“The fact it is a one off will capture the imagination of the public.
“We were down at the East Riding Cricket Society a couple of weeks ago and were hinting we may take a game to York, and they were very keen as it’s far more accessible for them than it is to get to Emerald Headingley.
“I think there are a number of bonuses, and the one off situation should make sure people say ‘I want to go there to see what it’s like and I was there’.
“The opposition are Warwickshire, which will be good. I’m sure Will Rhodes will relish playing at York in front of friends and family.
“I’d predict the crowd will be somewhere between the regular 2,000 we get at Emerald Headingley and the 5,000 we can get for the Festival. I’d say somewhere around the 4,000 mark for the first couple of days.
“But a lot will depend on the weather.
“They’re going to put up some temporary stands, and we encourage people to bring their own deckchairs.
“They’ve got masses of parking and will park cars on the rugby pitches.
“It is a venue definitely capable of hosting a first-class cricket match.
“It is a three-year agreement.
“They are going to receive a grant from the ECB towards a new electronic scoreboard, covers and sight screens.
“We have made a commitment that we will go there for at least three years. From 2020 onwards, we will take one or two List A matches to York. The ECB are supporting the development of out-grounds.
“When you talk to people about hosting a County Championship match, their excitement is something to behold. I think the City of York will really get behind the event.
“Jim Love, who is heavily involved both with us at Yorkshire and at York, has been a significant help.”