Gloucester lose Championship festival
Gloucester has lost its annual cricket festival as Gloucestershire bow to commercial pressures, although the club are hopeful of playing a Twenty20 match at the King's School ground in future seasons.
From 2010 there will be two Twenty20 tournaments during the English summer and the club are finding it increasingly difficult to schedule a four-day game at King's School, while sponsors are proving tough to attract. Currently the festival week loses money and Gloucestershire feel the efforts put in from all parties would be better served towards a Twenty20 match.
"I am genuinely excited by the prospect of taking Twenty20 'on the road' to Gloucester in 2010 and I am sure this form of cricket will be the catalyst for enthusing young people about the game," said chairman John Light. "As chairman and a long standing supporter of the club, the Gloucester festival is very close to my heart.
"On a sentimental level, it is a shame to lose the four-day match but we have to move on. We are a business and we must focus our efforts on areas that produce rewards. We have a great opportunity to introduce young people in Gloucester to cricket from 2010 and we will be working hard to achieve this."
Leader of Gloucester city council, Paul James, added: "We are excited about the prospect of bringing Twenty20 cricket to Gloucester in 2010, as we feel it is a format that will be popular with people in the city.
"Our intention will be to supplement the Twenty20 matches with other community-based activities to encourage participation in the game, making it a true cricket festival. We will start to introduce activities in 2009, with the club's assistance, to build up to something really special in 2010."