Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, have today written to the English Cricket Board to urge them to reconsider their decision to not host any of the 2027 men's Ashes series Test matches in the North of England.
The letter reads:
We are writing to you to express our disappointment at the English Cricket Board’s announcement of match venues for the Men’s Ashes in 2027.
As you know, there will be no Men’s Ashes Test in the North of England in 2027 – meaning that this week at Old Trafford will be the last Men’s Ashes Test played in the North of England until 2031.
Headingley and Old Trafford are two of England’s most iconic cricket grounds, and home to historic Ashes moments from Ian Botham’s heroics in 1981 to Ben Stokes’ own ‘Miracle of Headingley’ in 2019. Very few grounds attract support as passionate or indeed as diverse as Headingley and Old Trafford - as a number of England players themselves have acknowledged in recent days.
We understand that the ECB’s criteria for awarding Test Matches includes maximising attendances and ensuring a geographic spread of matches. It feels even more remarkable therefore that an area so passionate about cricket, with a population of over 15 million people, misses out on a Men’s Ashes Test in 2027 whilst the South hosts three.
It does not feel right that at a time when cricket needs to do more to spread interest in the game around the country that London consistently hosts three Tests every summer.
Next year for example, Lord’s hosts one third of England Men’s Tests whilst Headingley doesn’t get any.
The rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire within cricket is legendary, but this is an issue that unites both sides of the Pennines.
We urge you to think again and ensure people in the North of England get the opportunity to witness more iconic Ashes moments in 2027.
Mayor of Greater Manchester
Mayor of West Yorkshire
Article Published: 21/07/2023 10:36 AM