2 Lancs CC to unveil new Old Trafford plans

lancs ccc.jpgLancashire will tonight unveil plans for the new Old Trafford at the start of what is a crunch week, on and off the pitch.

The club, who could still be relegated from Division One of the County Championship, begin their bid to bring a 2013 Ashes Test to Manchester by presenting their ideas for the £25m redevelopment of the world famous 151-year-old stadium to Trafford Borough Council.

And if they get the green light, they could apply for planning permission as early as next month.

The 25,000-seater stadium will include permanent floodlights, which could go up next season, and a complete refurbishment of the pavilion.
With the wicket being turned at the end of next season, the plans also involve the players dressing rooms and media facilities moving opposite the pavilion.

Work has already started on a £600,000 state-of-the-art drainage system for the outfield, and a new scoreboard with video replay screen should be up by the start of next season.

And in February the club will begin the £12m first phase of the redevelop ment which involves the creation of a 1.000-seater conference hall to replace the County, Jubilee and Tyldesley Suites.

Lancashire were stunned when Old Trafford missed out on a 2009 Ashes Test to Cardiff's Swalec Stadium.

And although they will host two eye-catching Twenty20 internationals between England and Australia next year, and an ODI against the world champions in 2010, it could be four years before they host their next Test.

"Our aim is to turn it into a world-class cricket ground fit for international, and specifically Test match cricket," said Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes.

"If everything goes according to plan, our aim is to bid successfully for a 2013 Ashes Test, so we envisage the completion of the whole ground by the end of the 2012 season, to be ready in the event of us gaining an Ashes Test.

"We have links with Manchester United down the road, Media City is going up, there's Salford Quays, The Imperial War Museum. All that stretch is part of sport and leisure and we see ourselves being a big part of that."

Although an overview will be revealed tonight, it is thought planning permission won't be sought for the wider scheme until 2010.

The turning of the wicket, meanwhile, means Lancashire will play the majority of their Championship cricket away from Old Trafford in 2010.
Only five wickets will be available initially, with groundsman Peter Marron laying 10 more.

Although the majority of one-day games will still be played at Old Trafford, including those in the new Twenty20 EPL the club are in talks with Liverpool, Blackpool, Southport and Lytham about hosting more matches that season, with Aigburth expected to take the bulk of them.

Sourse :- The Gazette

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