Since our last detailed Club Update on 24th March 2021, the focus has been on getting New Road ready to play first-class cricket and host spectators. All staff have worked tirelessly to ensure we will be able to greet members for the first time in 20 months when we host Derbyshire on 27th May 2021 in round eight of the LV=Insurance County Championship. They deserve enormous credit and thanks. I know all staff, players and coaches can’t wait to see you back at New Road supporting our team.
As we will be in National Stage 3 of lockdown – restrictions will apply – and entry to our ground will be limited. We have already provided members with detailed instructions to enter the ticket ballot. The whole process and stipulations for watching cricket we know is far from ideal, but rest assured, it will be equitable and fair. Even to the extent that when members ask to attend matches – their data will be anonymised to ensure impartial treatment. I must emphasise that we are merely following government and local guidelines – they are not our own – all with the explicit aim of making sure we are all safe whilst watching sport.
When crowds do return to New Road, we hope you’ll notice some improvements – we have switched on our new WiFi system across our ground – hosted by The Cloud – which will allow for free, fast internet access for all spectators. Up to 21st June 2021, you will be able to order food, drink and retail items from your seat, and it will be brought to you. It may seem revelatory for us as cricket fans, but it has been in operation in the US for 30+ years.
We hope restrictions will lift fully from 21st June 2021 – recent newsflow heavily hints at social distance restrictions easing – which, if implemented, would be great news for outdoor venues like ours – according to stage 4 government guidance, this could allow for Worcestershire CCC to optimally operate at full capacity. That bodes well for vast amounts of planned activity at New Road for the remainder of the season.
Looking at the next month alone, things will be very busy with lots to do and see:
– Vitality Blast games home fixtures against Durham on 25th June 2021, against Leicestershire on 27th June 2021 and against the Birmingham Bears on 9th July 2021. Tickets are selling very well for these games – so to avoid disappointment, please book here – all backed by our Covid-guarantee. Our overseas players Ben Dwarshuis and Sandeep Lamichhane arrive soon, and our T20 Captain Moeen Ali will lead the team.
– We are also hosting England Women against India on 3rd July 2021, tickets are available by clicking here.
– The Chairman’s Lunch will be on Tuesday 6th July 2021, hosted by Nick Owen. Tables can be booked here – although spaces are very limited.
– Our final LV=Insurance County Championship qualifying game in what appears to be a closely contested group is against Warwickshire and starts on 11th July 2021. Supporters will be able to purchase tickets here for this match by clicking here.
– We also host Jo Wiley’s 90s Anthems on 17th July 2021 at New Road, with over 1,500 tickets already sold. You can purchase tickets by clicking here.
We have been pleased with the feedback from live streaming our home games against Nottinghamshire and Essex at New Road. The Club has worked well to ensure last years’ gremlins have been overcome. We and all other counties have benefited from previous years’ experiences, and the uptake has been strong. Our cricket is easily and readily accessible on many platforms (our website, ECB hub), and on YouTube, by searching for Worcestershire Cricket. Viewing figures have reached over 120,000 on YouTube alone across the eight days played. We will continue to stream all live games (where permitted) at New Road. It is an area we will invest more in and improve further – for example, our Vitality Blast home games will feature our own commentary team providing additional content on our team, our Club and our opposition.
We approach the halfway stage (round five) of the LV=Insurance County Championship on Thursday against our local rivals Warwickshire at Edgbaston. In a very tightly bunched group, we are two points off top place, with the highest batting points. It is pleasing that our side has shown strong resilience – having played Essex twice already – and that we have plenty of talent competing for places.
We feel comfortable with our outlook off the pitch – the pre-emptive work carried out by our Executive Team last year means we are now in the position to prepare to grow and expand again. We welcome new hires in the marketing team and in Membership & Ticketing. We look forward to hiring more people in the coming months. As activity in hospitality increases, one thing we are pleased to announce is that Worcestershire CCC will pay all staff irrespective of age – whether you are 16 or 60 (or older), the same National Minimum Wage. We have been pleased with the uptake of this offering – if you or anyone you know is interested in working at Worcestershire CCC, please contact us here.
Thank you for your support of our Club, we look forward to seeing you at our ground in May and June. It promises to be a very exciting period ahead.
With best wishes,
Fanos Hira FCA
Worcestershire CCC Chairman
4th May 2021