Old Trafford to be redeveloped; floodlights will be installed

September 23rd, 2008 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 23 (IANS) After being left out for the next year’s Ashes by the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and being struck off the international calendar till 2011, the Lancashire country has acted swiftly to redevelop the Old Trafford.The county’s plans were approved by Trafford council Monday evening and it includes, changing the cricket square around to north-to-south direction from its present east-to-west orientation. A new scoreboard, replay screen and permanent floodlights will also be installed and the capacity will be increased to 25,000. The executive of Trafford council voted unanimously with a view to starting work in early 2009.

The drainage system will also be overhauled and it will be very similar to the one at the Lord’s.

“The proposals come at a time of fierce competition for the rights to stage international Test matches which has recently seen the ground, and the region, fail to secure any for the foreseeable future,” the club said in a statement.

“The significant investment being made in the new facilities will ensure that Old Trafford regains its rightful place on the international Test match circuit in time for the 2013 Ashes Test.”

Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes said that the Old Trafford brand has a massive standing in world cricket.

“The club has been on the same site since 1857. We will work towards delivering a scheme which will have at its heart a new stadium fit for the next 150 years, and which will be recognised as world-class standard, fit for the UK’s greatest sporting city region and serving the huge cricketing fanbase in the north west,” Cumbes was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

With the new system in place Lancashire county hopes that the redevelopments will help it compete against new grounds such as Durham’s Riverside, Hampshire’s Rose Bowl and Cardiff’s SWALEC stadium.

Due to the construction work, Old Trafford will be unable to host any cricket in 2010 but the club is hoping the new-look ground will help them back in favour by the time the 2013 Ashes series is played.

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