Worcester fans react to potential County Cricket New Road move - The Worcester Observer

Worcester fans react to potential County Cricket New Road move

Worcester Editorial 18th Apr, 2024   0

WORCESTER cricket fans are reeling after it was revealed County Cricket may soon be played away from the city’s iconic New Road due to ‘unprecedented’ flooding and concerns over the long-term future of its famous tenants.

Chiefs at Worcestershire County Cricket Club have revealed it is exploring every option, including a move away from New Road, in a bid to ensure the long-term future of the club.

‘Record levels’ of flooding have already forced the club to play their first two home games of the new County Championship season in Kidderminster, the first of which gets under way tomorrow (Friday) against Durham.

New Road, which holds around 5,500 people, has been Worcestershire’s home since 1896, but floods have blighted the Faithful City, and the cricket club, with increasing regularity in recent years.

According to the club, this has brought into focus the ‘very real issues’ regarding their sustainability.

A statement released on Monday by Worcestershire’s board said it would be looking into options over the next few months so they could provide the membership and key stakeholders with a plan.

Fans took to social media to voice their opinions.

Keith Hunt said all flood alleviation possibilities should be investigated before leaving as, were the move to happen, the world’s ‘most beautiful and famous cricketing view’ would be lost forever.

Andrew Ching said leaving New Road ‘could be painful’ but added the most important thing was the survival of Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

Mark Fincher said the club’s new ground, were they to move, would have to fit in with how New Road looks now.

He added it was essential the club got the decision right as he didn’t want a situation similar to when Worcester City football club left St George’s Lane in 2013, which saw them homeless for around a decade and contributed to them dropping three divisions due to ‘excessive costs.’

In February, Worcester City Council asked its environment committee to delve into how to tackle the area’s long-standing flooding issues.

Environment committee chair, Coun Karen Lewing, told the Observer it was ‘potentially devastating’ New Road may be vacated due to economic viability- and called for greater urgency to tackle the issues which lead to flooding.

She added: “New Road has been the home of County cricket since 1896, and this news clearly shows the alarming pace of climate change with more frequent and intense rain and increased flooding.

“It is a stark warning greater urgency and more decisive action is needed not only for the future of our sporting heritage but also for the survival of other businesses and homes in the city.”

What do YOU think?– Should Worcestershire leave New Road? If not, what other options should be explored? Email [email protected] with your views.


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