Mayors urge ECB to rethink its northern snub for 2027 males’s Ashes collection

The mayors of Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire have pleaded with the England and Wales Cricket Board to rethink its northern snub for the 2027 males’s Ashes.

England captain Ben Stokes admitted earlier this week he was “devastated” by the allocation for the five-Test collection in 4 years’ time, with each Headingley and Emirates Old Trafford lacking out.

It implies that probably the most northerly of the grounds might be Trent Bridge, which has not staged a males’s Ashes Test since 2015, whereas Edgbaston, Lord’s, the Kia Oval and the Ageas Bowl are additionally host venues.

An uneven geographical break up has been labelled “disappointing” and “remarkable” by Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham and West Yorkshire’s Tracy Brabin in an open letter to ECB chair Richard Thompson.

“We are writing to express our disappointment at the English Cricket Board’s announcement of match venues for the Men’s Ashes in 2027,” wrote the mayors.

“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.

“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 while the South hosts three.”

This final level has drawn scrutiny, with conventional London venues Lord’s and the Kia Oval joined by the Ageas Bowl, which is able to stage its first males’s Ashes Test in 2027.

Headingley will play host to the ladies’s Ashes Test in 4 years’ time whereas the Yorkshire floor and Old Trafford each return to the lads’s programme for the 2031 collection between the outdated rivals.

“It does not feel right 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,” Burnham and Brabin added.

“Next year for example, Lord’s hosts one third of England’s 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.”

Leave a Comment