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July 27, 2012
Lancashire have moved their Championship match against Durham late next month from Old Trafford to Liverpool.
The club said that the decision to switch the game set for August 28-31 was made to enable the building work at Old Trafford, that needs to be completed before the Twenty20 between England and South Africa, to continue without the hindrance of a match taking place at the same time.
There is also some concern about areas of the new square - which was turned 90 degrees in 2010 - after the recent wet weather, although the main pitches remain intact. However, last week Lancashire came close to being docked points for the surface they prepared for the Championship match against Worcestershire which offered considerable help to spin.
Mike Watkinson, the director of cricket, said: "We have considered a combination of factors in making this decision. With regard to the construction activity at Old Trafford we are on schedule to complete our new players and media building in time for the NatWest International T20 between England and South Africa which will be played on Monday 10th September.
"However, this game falls during a busy period for our contractors, who are also redeveloping our pavilion, and it will allow them to complete key activities without having to schedule around a four-day game. This also removes any potential inconvenience to players and spectators.
"In addition, we have recently endured a period of extremely wet weather which has resulted in the playing surface being under cover for extended periods. This has had an adverse effect on the grass cover to the new areas of the square. The established pitches on the square are high quality surfaces and will be used for the upcoming England Lions fixture and of course the Ashes Test in 2013."
Lancashire invested considerably in facilities at the Aigburth ground in Liverpool last year when the county held all their home Championship fixtures at the venue due to the redevelopment of Old Trafford. That factor was cited as one of key reasons they won the Championship title as the pitches were more result orientated than had previously been the case in Manchester, but the three matches so far this season have brought two defeats and a draw.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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