By Scott Gibson
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club may be forced to play some home games away from Trent Bridge during next year’s Cricket World Cup – but the club has dismissed a report it is in talks with Derby.
Trent Bridge will host five games during the tournament between May 31 and June 20, which could lead to a fixture clash with the County Cricket season, which runs between April and September.
A post on a fan blog dedicated to Notts caused debate among fans by suggesting the clash could result in Notts home matches being played at the 3aaa County Ground, home of rivals Derby.
According to a post on cricket blog Nottsview, Notts and Derbyshire officials had spoken about the issue.
However, Trent Bridge officials dismissed the report when asked by Notts TV to clarify the club’s position, and instead pointed to other potential venues Notts could use if necessary.
Michael Temple, commercial director at Trent Bridge, said: “It [the report] is completely unsubstantiated.
“We don’t get the fixtures until November and would probably have about a week’s notice before they are given to us.
“At that point we’d consider if any games will need to be moved elsewhere such as Welbeck, we’ve played at Grantham in the past, but that process wouldn’t take place until November.”
Mr Temple also pointed to Trent Bridge’s use as a host for other international matches and the use of out-grounds by Notts where clashes have occurred in the past.
He continued: “Historically, we’ve played at 25 out-grounds in the past, Welbeck’s our preference at the moment and we are mindful of the need in the future to use out-grounds.”
The report of a switch to Derbyshire during the World Cup fixtures had caused concern among Notts fans about the potential arrangements for the tournament.
One long-standing Notts CCC member, who asked to remain anonymous, underlined the strength of feeling among fans: “If that ever did happen I don’t think I’d renew because of the extra expense and time it would take to get to Derby.
“You expect a certain amount of disruption when your ground is good enough to host international cricket, but the whole championship calendar is way too long.”
Next year’s tournament is England’s first chance to host a Cricket World Cup since 1999 under the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) rotation policy, which means cricket-playing regions host a World Cup once every 20 years.
In 1999 Trent Bridge hosted three World Cup matches with a Notts CCC home game against Hampshire being played from Thursday to Sunday to accommodate a match between Zimbabwe and England on May 25.
The County Cricket Championship is played in the game’s traditional four-day test format. The World Cup uses the shorter one-day international 50 over format.
In a statement, Trent Bridge added: “Inevitably, there will be a concentration of home fixtures outside of the period in which we will stage ICC Cricket World Cup matches.
“If there are any home matches scheduled during that period, then we will make plans to stage them at the most appropriate venue.
“We have planned for this eventuality and it was certainly a factor in our decision to stage occasional Royal London One-Day Cup matches at Welbeck in recent seasons.”
2019 World Cup Games at Trent Bridge
May 31: West Indies v Pakistan
June 3: England v Pakistan
June 6: Australia v West Indies
June 13: India v New Zealand
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh