England news February 11, 2011

Yorkshire will not bid for Ashes Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

Headingley will not host an Ashes Test in 2013 or 2015 after Yorkshire chairman and chief executive, Colin Graves, said it would represent too great a financial risk.

Yorkshire suffered a £2m loss for 2010, a figure that was contributed to by poor attendance figures for the Pakistan v Australia Test that was staged at Headingley last summer. The county has a staging agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board that guarantees them a Test and a one-day international each year between 2012 and 2019. However, counties have to bid for the right to host Ashes matches.

Graves, who succeeded Stewart Regan as chief executive, said the cost of bidding for a Test against England's traditional foes was too high.

"There's no chance at all of us hosting an Ashes Test," he told the Yorkshire Post. "For 2013 and 2015 we are not allocated an Ashes Test, we won't be allocated one, and we are not going to bid for one to put ourselves at risk again. The figure is not fixed but it could cost anything between £1m and £2m to make a bid. I'm not putting between £1m and £2m at risk because it's not worth it. I'd rather stick with what we've got."

The ECB, meanwhile, are reviewing the process by which they allocate major international fixtures. An ECB spokesperson said: "There is actually a board meeting today where we will be discussing the way major matches are allocated and the bidding process

"It is something we are conscious of and we are aware it is something the grounds have concerns about.

"There have been extensive discussions with both the international and non-international grounds over the way in which the process works and the management board will sit down and assess what the best options are going forward."

The bidding process was introduced because the building of new grounds at Chester-le-Street and Southampton and the redevelopment of Cardiff mean there are more venues vying to stage matches.

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