Yorkshire’s Chief Executive Mark Arthur is hoping a successful One-Day International this Friday followed by a prosperous Test Match between England and Sri Lanka next summer will strengthen the Club’s case to bring the Ashes back to Headingley in 2019 after a ten-year wait.
Headingley have been awarded the second of two England Tests against Sri Lanka, starting on June 20, as part of their staging agreement with the ECB until the end of 2019, the year of the next but one home Ashes series.
Ahead of Friday’s one-day international between England and Australia – set to be a 17,200 sell out – chief executive Mark Arthur is looking forward to showcasing Headingley to the world and ultimately being a venue of choice for the 2019 Ashes.
“All things being equal, which includes us maintaining a quality experience when people come to Headingley, making sure the crowds behave in a manner to which you’d expect, that our organisation is good, that our facilities continue to improve, if there are five Test matches in that year against Australia, then, as we are guaranteed a Test match under our staging agreement, we should be one of those grounds,” said Arthur.
“We are delighted to be staging the Test Match against Sri Lanka. The timing of the match is ideal with it coming in mid-summer.
“We have a great opportunity to show to the ECB and the wider cricketing world that we are capable of selling out Headingley for international fixtures. The ECB will only take major matches to grounds that will sell out.
“The major venues are increasing capacities and improving the spectator experience and we have to ensure that we continue to change the fabric of Headingley, continually set high standards and make the customer experience second to none.
“There is so much we have going for us, with a number of Yorkshire players establishing themselves in the England team and a platform to showcase why Yorkshire and Headingley deserves international cricket over a long period of time. “
Meanwhile, Yorkshire also plan to lower ticket prices in certain sections of the ground for the Sri Lanka Test as well as offering a £5 discount for pre-Christmas purchases.
“We want to make international cricket more affordable,” added Arthur.
“When we announce ticket details later in the month, we are committed to creating prices that are reasonable including the introduction of an early bird price offering a further discount if supporters buy before Christmas.”