The eight new franchise venues for the new English T20 competition have been revealed.
The ECB named the Ageas Bowl, Edgbaston, Headingley, The Oval, Lord’s, Old Trafford, the SWALEC and Trent Bridge as the bases around which new partnerships and teams would be created for the forthcoming tournament, saying that “together, they provide a strong geographical spread, high capacity for attendance, quality experience and access for the widest audience.”
The new franchise tournament, which is scheduled to launch in 2020, will see eight new teams – not connected to existing county brands – created at the stated venues, though there remains scope for individual games to be hosted in Durham or Taunton to broaden the geographical spread.
Ian Lovett, chair of the Host Venue Panel and deputy chairman of ECB, said:
“Today’s discussion and decision followed a rigorous, comprehensive and detailed process by the independent Host Venue Panel, in which they assessed a range of high quality submissions and presentations.
“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.
“It’s right that there should be thorough, independent scrutiny of such a significant process and I would like to thank John Crowther, Karen Earl and Mick Hogan for their contributions, knowledge and expertise.
“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.”
The ECB also announced its allocation of international matches for the 2020-2024 period. The Ageas Bowl missed out on a Test match having been expected to be awarded an Ashes game while Lord’s – which was guaranteed two Tests per summer – and Headingley – awarded an Ashes and India Test – were the big winners.
Men’s international, domestic and new T20 competition