|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
May 22, 2012
Northamptonshire have bought the freehold of their Wantage Road ground as they further their aim to become "one of the best non-Test grounds in the country."
The club, who have leased the ground for more than a century, have paid a six-figure sum for the land which they hope will enable them to pursue further development plans. The funds for the purchase came from a legacy left by their former president, the late Lynn Wilson.
In the short term, the club aim to improve their outdoor practise facilities in the hope of attracting more fixtures involving international touring teams. They will also be able to use the ground as collateral with their bankers.
"This purchase gives the club a good opportunity to continue developing the ground," chief executive David Smith said. "And developments such as the outdoor nets facility will enhance our reputation within the game and it should benefit the club in securing future international touring team fixtures, as our improving facilities will be a big attraction to them."
"We're looking to develop the ground further when funds are available and owning the ground gives us security going forward," Martin Lawrence, the club's chairman, told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo. "In the short term we've got to look after our squad and it's important to get the balance right between the cricket side of things and the ground. I'm looking at maybe a five-year plan and possibly a small hotel or a block of flats but we haven't made any decisions yet.
"It gives us much more freedom to develop it however we wish. To the average spectator it won't make a lot of difference but to those involved it's very significant. We all believe it's an important step for us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Former Sri Lanka batsman Asanka Gurusinha talks about playing and coaching in Australia, and tactics during the 1996 World Cup
He's past his use-by date as a Test captain and keeper. India now have a chance to test Kohli's leadership skills
Also, scoring a hundred and opening the bowling, the youngest Australian player, and scoreless in three Tests
An early start to the international season, coupled with costly tickets, have kept the Australian public away from the cricket
Never mind cricket's absence from free-to-air TV - changes in social attitudes, the demands of work, and an individualistic age are all contributing to a decline in participation
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough