County news January 14, 2008

New Road flooded again

Cricinfo staff

New Road in 2007: the latest floods aren't as severe but could still cause problems © Worcestershire CCC
New Road, Worcestershire's home ground, has been hit by another flood just as it was on the path to recovery after twice being underwater last season. Although not as serious as the 2007 flooding the latest deluge has swamped the newly laid outfield.

The new season is still nearly three months away, but the club can't afford many delays as they prepare the ground for April. After New Road was flooded for a second time last year - forcing the club to abandon their home for the latter part of the summer - the decision was made to relay the outfield and undertake some other major work.

Mark Newton, the chief executive, is remaining calm at the moment although admits that if the water stays too long they could hit more problems. "If the flood stays around for say longer than a week, then you start to get very worried," he told the BBC. "At this stage I wouldn't be worried.

"But we were already of course in a situation where we weren't quite sure how the square was going to play next season anyway. This certainly won't help it, but it's not as desperate as a summer flood."

Floods have occurred frequently in the off-season but have been cleared by the time the season starts, and the club will be confident that they are ready for Worcestershire's first home match of the 2008 season, which is a Championship fixture against Leicestershire starting on April 23.