Exciting times ahead for Durham

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DURHAM chairman Clive Leach believes “exciting times” lie ahead for the cricket club after they were handed a bumper package of international cricket.

The county had already been assured they would host one of the Ashes Tests when Australia visit England in 2013, with the announcement by the England and Wales Cricket Board that they would join Lord’s, The Oval, Old Trafford and Trent Bridge.

In a further boost, the ECB revealed South Africa, Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand will also all visit Emirates Durham ICG in the next five years.

Leach said: “This allocation of international fixtures confirms our success as an international venue, and reflects the demand for world-class cricket in the region.

“We have worked incredibly hard to establish Emirates Durham ICG as a welcoming, friendly and operationally efficient ground which players, officials and supporters enjoy visiting.

“We are always well supported by a passionate North East crowd, and the demand for tickets for each of these games will be phenomenal.

“Exciting times lie ahead for the club with development set to continue ahead of the Ashes in 2013, and with the Durham side playing so well on the field.

“Durham County Cricket Club continues to go from strength to strength and we’re looking forward to that benefiting our supporters and the local economy as we bring more people into the region.”

Durham international programme:

2012 – England v Australia ODI; England v South Africa t20.

2013 – England v Australia Ashes Test; England v Australia T20

2014 – England v Sri Lanka ODI; England v India t20

2015 – England v Australia ODI; England v New Zealand ODI

2016 – England v Sri Lanka Test

Nottinghamshire had most to celebrate yesterday after they, along with Lord’s and The Oval, will host Ashes Tests in each of the next two home series.

Their bids to the independent major match group were the most successful of all, in a process which also resulted in a 2013 Ashes Test being awarded to Lancashire and one each going the way of Glamorgan and Warwickshire in 2015.

Yorkshire are in such awkward financial straits that they felt it was not viable to put any precious monetary resources into the bid process.