The return of county cricket to outgrounds could prove to be one of the unexpected, but welcome, benefits of next year's World Cup and the ECB's planned 100-ball competition from 2020.

The introduction of a full programme of four-day matches and the reduction in the number of County Championship matches has seen the number of outgrounds halved to just 21 over the last 25 years.

But the combination of the World Cup and the new franchise tournament will put the major international venues out of bounds to county cricket for significant periods of the next four summers forcing the host counties to seek alternative venues.

Nottinghamshire, who have already made a success of staging Royal London One Day Cup cricket at Welbeck near Mansfield, are now considering taking a match over the border to Grantham in Lincolnshire. Their last foray into England's second-largest county came at Cleethorpes in 2004.

Warwickshire have already confirmed that a return to Portland Road in Edgbaston, where first-class cricket was last staged in 1961, is likely in 2020. The ground, originally the Mitchell's & Butler's Sports Ground, lay derelict for more than a quarter off a century, before being resurrected as the Edgbaston Community Foundation Sports Ground which is used extensively by Warwickshire for 2nd XI and county age group matches.

Yorkshire are also considering taking county cricket back to Park Avenue in Bradford and Abbeydale Park in Sheffield, which have both seen investment to upgrade facilities since they dropped off the outground roster in 1996


Increasing the number of outgrounds will give Chris Nash, the Nottinghamshire and former Sussex batsman, the opportunity to add to his encyclopaedic knowledge of motorway service stations.

If you want to know which services serve the best all day breakfast or flat white or which have the cleanest toilets, Nash, a man who has spent 17 years travelling the motorway system on the county grind, is your man.

Nash even runs a weekly 'Guess the Services' (#countygrind) quiz for his 7,500 Twitter followers with photos of Hopwood Park (M42), Cobham (M25), Toddington (M1) and Knutsford (M6) among his early-season 'highlights'.


Somerset offspinner Dom Bess will emulate his best friend Jack Maunder if he makes his Test debut for England against Pakistan at Lord's this week.

Bess and Maunder played cricket and rugby together at Blundell's School before their sporting careers took different paths.

Maunder, a wicketkeeper who played alongside Bess for Devon in the 2011 Under-14 County Cup final, concentrated on rugby with Exeter Chiefs.

Maunder was the first of the bosom buddies to win an England cap in Argentina last summer. He will be preparing to face Saracens in Saturday's Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham while Bess gets ready for his potential Test debut.


Yorkshire knew they were signing a talented batsman when they recruited Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who flayed 164 in their opening RLODC match against Durham, what they didn't expect was to get a new dressing room attendant into the bargain.

Kohler-Cadmore's father Mick, a former prison officer, spent two years as Worcestershire's dressing room attendant but he left New Road at the end of last season and has now followed his son, who joined Yorkshire midway through last season, to Headingley.

Kohler-Cadmore Jnr has taken a circuitous route from his hometown of Hornsea into Yorkshire's first team via Malvern College where he was awarded a scholarship after he was recommended to Worcestershire by former Yorkshire batsman and coach Kevin Sharp, who is now head coach at New Road.


Luke Fletcher's heartening return to action after suffering severe concussion last season has been mirrored by the early-season form of Sam Hain, the batsman whose fierce return drive inflicted the injury, during a T20 match at Edgbaston.

Having recovered from the trauma of seeing Fletcher felled, Hain has made a scintillating start to the Royal London One Day Cup with successive centuries in the defeat by Derbyshire - watched by England selector Mick Newell - and victory over Yorkshire.

Hain, born in Hong Kong, raised in Australia but now qualified to play for England, marked his England Lions debut with a century against West Indies A in March.


Manchester artist Fanny Gogh has swapped knickers for nickers.

Gogh, whose real name is Sian Doherty, was given the pseudonym after she persuaded celebrities to donate their underwear which she then used to create artwork in the shape of Knickerbocker Glory ice creams.

The Salford-based artist has since produced abstract paintings of Manchester United footballers but has now turned her attention to the other Old Trafford, with excellent results.

Prints of Gogh's striking portraits - all paint, no jockstraps - of Andrew Flintoff, James Anderson, Haseeb Hameed, Liam Livingstone and Kumar Sangakkara are available at: @fannycricket


James Taylor has turned down a request to appear in a new video to promote the PCA Benevolent Fund.

The former England batsman was surprised to be asked to promote the charity because he has received no assistance from it since his career was cut short by a heart condition - arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy - two years ago.

Taylor has also criticised the players' union and the ECB for the inadequate insurance cover they provided which meant that he left the game with a pay-out of GBP £300,000, which in his case represented barely a year's earnings.

"When it came to the crunch, the combined value of the PCA and the ECB's insurance policies bore no relation to the modern game: it added up to little or no more than my previous year's earnings," writes Taylor in his new book Cut Short.


Boyd Rankin has taken to social media in an attempt to track down the car belonging to his girlfriend, Anna Hawkins, which was stolen the night after he returned to Birmingham after playing in Ireland's inaugural Test.

Rankin has posted photos of the white Fiat 500 with Italian stripes, registration number HY11 WLH, on Twitter and Facebook. Rankin has asked anyone with information about the car, which was stolen between 10pm on May 16 and 8am on May 17 to contact @WMPolice or @CMPG