Lancashire Lightning’s home quarter final venue confirmed
With the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test Match taking place from Wednesday 4 September at Emirates Old Trafford, Lancashire Lightning has been working closely with the ECB to explore all available options for its Vitality Blast home quarter-final.
The Vitality Blast quarter-finals dates are scheduled for the evenings of Wednesday (4 Sept), Thursday (5 Sept), Friday (6 Sept) and Saturday (7 Sept), which clash with the ECB’s international schedule and the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire Lightning can now confirm that it’s home quarter-final will be played at Emirates Riverside, the home of Durham Cricket (date and opponents TBC).
The Club as a whole, including input from Head Coach Glen Chapple, Captain Dane Vilas and Director of Cricket Paul Allott, came to a collective decision as Lancashire aim to take their place in a record eighth Finals Day in 16 years.
By agreeing with Durham to hold the match at Emirates Riverside, Lancashire is able to work closely with Durham to assist with the pitch and ground preparations, and have the choice of three quality international pitches. Floodlights are a prerequisite condition and a necessity for Sky Sports TV coverage, and Durham have confirmed that Emirates Old Trafford ground staff will assist in the preparation of the pitch.
Lancashire have had no option but to look at every possible venue, including out-grounds and playing at the away ground, but the Club was not willing to cede home advantage to our opponents for the quarter-final. The Lancashire players confirmed that they were more comfortable playing at Emirates Riverside than any other alternative venue, with the team having won its last seven Vitality Blast fixtures at Durham.
The ECB and Lancashire also explored the possibility of using Liverpool Cricket Club. However, due to the amount of First-Class, Second XI and Kia Super League matches played there this season, there was no quality pitch available and even so with the ECB event presentation and Sky Sports TV requirements also adding further complexities, which include the requirement for floodlights.
The Club and the ECB also looked at the option of a fixture on Monday 9 September but this proved impossible to attain due to subsequent fixture congestion in the Specsavers County Championship and was not acceptable to any of our prospective opponents because of the need for a reserve day and considerations around rest and travel logistics.
Lancashire Head Coach, Glen Chapple, said: “Once it became clear we could not host a quarter-final, the Club, with the input of myself, Dane and Paul, assessed our options and decided this would be the best venue in order for us to attempt to reach another Finals Day.
“With both Emirates Old Trafford and Liverpool Cricket Club unavailable, the next best option is to play at a neutral northern ground that can provide some element of cricketing home advantage. We feel Emirates Riverside is the best place for that and thank Durham for making their ground available to use.
“Our recent Vitality Blast record at Durham is very good but that does not mean the team will be taking anything for granted. We will prepare as we would always would, and as with any knock-out fixture, expect it to be a tough game, and would appreciate the Members’ and Lancashire fans’ support.”
Lancashire Lightning Captain, Dane Vilas, said: “The lads have worked extremely hard to get the team into the top two and though it is disappointing not to be at Emirates Old Trafford, we are determined to get to Finals Day again.
“We had a good win at Durham earlier in the competition and will go up there full of confidence, no matter who the opposition are.”
The Club will provide a free ticket and free coach travel to all Members (excluding Digital Members) for the fixture, as well as Vitality Blast season ticket holders.
Members will have full use of the Emirates Riverside pavilion and Members lounge. Red Rose Members will have their own designated area and lounge, which will be confirmed in due course.
General admission tickets for the match will be priced at £10 adults and £1 juniors and details on how Members can claim their free ticket and free coach travel will be announced shortly, along with information on when general admission tickets go on sale, Member facilities and official hospitality. We won’t have any further information to release until the date and opponents have been confirmed. As a result, there is no need to contact the Ticket Office.
Lancashire Cricket appreciates those Members that will be attending the Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford and will therefore miss the Vitality Blast quarter-final and whilst the Club regrets that, unfortunately there was no possibility of moving the match.