From the CEO’s Chair – Friday 11 March

Friday 11th March 2011

Lovely to see the sun shining this week – it has almost felt like cricket weather. The ground is in good shape as we look forward to pre-season starting next week.

It has been great to see the players starting to return over the last ten days – only James Tredwell now out of the country. They all enjoyed the rigours of Pete Kelly’s fitness testing this morning and I gather they all scored very well – testament to the hard work they have been putting in.

The fourth floodlight went up behind the Woolley Stand on Tuesday, so only one to go now. They really do look quite something, and add to the impression of the ground redevelopment works coming together. Other aspects of the project progress well, particularly the players’ dressing rooms.

Today the Club put forward its response to the ECB Questionnaire on future fixture programming. The Club remain of the view that the County Championship should continue to be a two division competition with the same number of teams as now. We also hope that, whilst a decision is required for County Championship prior to the start of the season, further consideration will be given to the future format of Twenty20 and 40 Over competitions. I personally cannot see how a game under considerable financial pressure (all but two counties have announced significant losses) can reduce the number of revenue-generating opportunities.

Another defeat today for England at the World Cup, and now the prospect of a must win game against West Indies next week. If England are going to achieve in this competition they are certainly doing it the hard way.

Finally, a word on our membership and ticket packages. We continue to be ahead on sales (against this time last year) and the Six-Pack is proving a particular favourite. It is not too late to secure one of these packages – or recommend them to a friend!