County news July 2, 2007

New Road prepares for Championship fixture

Cricinfo staff

Conditions at New Road won't be easy, even for Graeme Hick © Getty Images
Worcestershire are preparing to host their scheduled County Championship match against Kent on July 8 at New Road, barely a week after the flood waters finally subsided following the torrential rain in late June.

"This has been a tough and risky decision but all my colleagues have 'bought' into the desire to see cricket being played on Sunday at 11am," said chief executive Mark Newton. "The flood water is still on some of the outfield and car parks and in the marquee but we are able to get into the buildings and start the clean up.

"The most difficult piece of the jigsaw is the wicket but we think a decent wicket can be prepared. I am told by those who know that the normal recovery period is two to three weeks but we have just six days. The entire infrastructure may not be ready but we owe it to our members and supporters to show what we can achieve."

Newton added that the smell around New Road was still fairly strong and said he would be calling on members to help with the clean-up operation later this week to get the ground ready.

This was the first summer flood at New Road since 1969 and the second worst ever after 1924. The club has already announced costs and lost revenue of around £150,000 to £200,000 due to the disruption to their Twenty20 programme. One home match was cancelled while others have been moved to Kidderminster and Himley.