Cricket at the County Ground will definitely soon be played in a North/South direction after the decision to go ahead with turning the square was confirmed by the Derbyshire Committee.
Work already began at the conclusion of the 2008 season as 12 pitches were laid – six on either side of the existing square - with more to follow at the conclusion of the current season.
But while the work in October was carried out purely to ensure that no time was lost should the decision be finalised, the complete turning of the square through 90 degrees will now definitely go ahead meaning that North/South cricket at the County Ground could commence as early as 2010.
The remainder of the work will revolve around creating a further seven pitches from the existing square using the ‘drill-and-fill’ method.
This will commence at the conclusion of the 2009 season before all 19 of the new pitches are given time to mature and become fit for first-class cricket.
Chief executive Keith Loring commented: “The final decision to turn the square was initially delayed pending a decision about how the ground will be developed.
“Development of the County Ground will still definitely take place, however, the form that this development will take is still being investigated and is not yet finalised.
“In the mean time, the committee has decided that it makes more sense to push on with turning the square regardless, thus meaning that any decision on development will be made on its merits alone without the side issue of how this affects the sun-stopped-play issue.
“By turning the square, sun stopping play will become a thing of the past for ever and that can only be of benefit to Derbyshire County Cricket Club.
“Lancashire is currently the only other county that currently plays in a west/east direction and they have also started work on turning their square. We certainly don’t want to be left as the only county playing the ‘wrong way.’”
“Floodlit cricket is great for the sport because it allows matches to be played at a more convenient time for spectators and adds atmosphere to the occasions.
“This decision will ensure that it continues to thrive at the County Ground unhindered for years to come.”
© Derbyshire CCC