County unable to find alternative venues June 26, 2007

Worcester flooded after rivers burst their banks

Cricinfo staff

Worcestershire's Twenty20 Cup fixture against Warwickshire at New Road has had to be cancelled after unseasonal rains caused the Severn and Teme rivers to break their banks and flood the county ground at New Road.

"Around half of the ground is flooded at a depth of at least a couple of feet," explained David Leatherdale, the commercial manager. "It is up to the engines of cars parked on the ground." Games against Northamptonshire on Friday and Gloucestershire on Sunday are also in doubt.

Although county officials immediately sought an alternative venue to stage the game, the Twenty20 regulations as they stand require all matches to be played within the county boundaries. Worcestershire had hoped to play at either Kidderminster, Ombersley or Barnt Green, but were forced to admit defeat.

"Regrettably no other venue within the county with the facilities to stage the Twenty20 match could be identified in spite of the very best efforts of the home club," said an ECB statement. "ECB has indicated that it wishes to consider changes to regulations which could provide increased options for the 2008 season but recognises that the weather conditions experienced in June have been exceptional.

While the ground, which is on a flood plain, is often submerged in the winter, it is rare that it suffers during the season. In June 1931 Worcestershire had to move their match against Kent to Stourbridge because New Road was underwater. On that occasion the local fire brigade were called in to help mop up. In August of the same year heavy rain meant that a small lake formed in front of the ladies stand and the boundary had to be brought in by 25 yards midway a game against Warwickshire. It also flooded in August 1957.