Kent Cricket confirm venue for opening T20 Blast Fixture

Monday 23rd December 2013

Men’s First Team

Kent County Cricket Club has confirmed that the Kent Spitfires will open their 2014, NatWest T20 Blast campaign with a match at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence against the Gloucestershire Gladiators, on Friday 30th May.

The match venue had been subject to confirmation. It had been hoped that this fixture might form part of the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Festival, alongside Kent’s LV County Championship match against Worcestershire. Unfortunately despite extensive efforts, financial restraints have meant this has not been possible.

Commenting on the venue announcement, Kent Cricket CEO, Jamie Clifford said; “We have been working closely with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council since the end of our 2013 Cricket Festival to establish a multi-game programme for 2014.

"Sadly, it has not been possible in the current environment of council cuts and tightening budgets, which are fully understood. The Council cannot sustain the extra costs associated with hosting a T20 Blast fixture, with the need for a temporary stand to increase capacity by over 1,000, plus a range of other costs.

“The Club is not in a position to take on the additional expenses associated with the Council’s decision, but I would like to thank the Council for all the support they continue to give, which will allow the festival, which has taken place in Tunbridge Wells for over 100 years, to continue.”

Tunbridge Wells Borough Councillor, Jane March, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Economic Development commented; "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Kent Cricket for the four day LV County Championship, and I am sure people in Tunbridge Wells will be supporting the cricket festival.

"Financial restraints have meant we have reassessed how much cricket we can support at the Nevill Ground and we are working hard to ensure that first class cricket is still available in Tunbridge Wells."

Kent will play Worcestershire in the LV County Championship, starting Sunday 25th May, to Wednesday 28th May at the Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells. As part of their regular Tunbridge Wells Festival programme, juniors will be given free entry to the match, with themes for each day. One of the highlights of this fixture has been Ladies’ Day, with the Fashion on the Outfield Competition, and Produced in Kent, showcasing arts, crafts, food and beverages made in the county.