July 24, 2003

Refurbishment for Middlesex's second home

Wisden CricInfo staff

Plans have been submitted for a major refurbishment to the Walker Cricket Ground in Southgate, Middlesex's second home in recent years. The main clubhouse and neighbouring squash courts would be demolished and replaced with a purpose-built two-storey facility.

"The plans are all about trying to secure the future of the ground," Chris Sexton, the Walker Ground's administration director, told the Barnet & Potters Bar Times. "It has been here for over 150 years and we want to see it carry on. "It's very expensive to maintain the cricket ground, so if we don't improve facilities we may not be able to make ends meet."

Middlesex have increasingly regarded Southgate as their second home, and with fewer matches staged at Lord's in recent seasons they have increased the numbers of games held there. Sexton would like to host even more Middlesex games.

"One of the problems we have here is that although Middlesex like coming here, and enjoy the excellent pitch, the players have to sit in a tent to watch the game as we have no viewing facilities," Sexton explained. "We have to cordon off their changing rooms from the public as well, which is not ideal for county cricket. We want them to continue to play here and this development will certainly help in that respect."