England have started their second day of their campaign against New Zealand today at Lords as the international cricket season including the Ashes on home turf gets under way. Their second test against the Kiwis starts on the 24th May at Headingley, and is one which has been very much looked forward to by cricket fans in Yorkshire. Yorkshire men, Jonny Baristow and Joe Root, look to cement their place in the test for the upcoming Ashes.
It’s not only a great period for cricket fans but it is also a great time for business in Headingley. With the influx of cricket fans the bars and pubs are expected to be flooded with people. Martin Goulding, landlord of Original Oak in Headingley, said; ‘We are opening earlier than usual and are opening at 8.30 in morning for breakfast. Then we’re closing the bar late at 12 instead of 11. With it being a bank holiday weekend as well, it’s going to be a bit of double whammy.’
Denum Vann, a law student at Leeds Met, said:’I’m looking forward to the game. I’ve got a ticket for the third day, and I was happy to pay £30 for my ticket.’ For the price compared to other international sports you can say it is fairly reasonable, as for an adult prices start from £30 and for juniors it costs £15. If the game goes to a fifth day, tickets are considerably cheap and for last year I paid £10 to watch the last day of the South African test match which I thought gave me great value for money.
So why isn’t Headingley going to host an Ashes game?
In the most recent 2009 Ashes in England, Headingley staged the fourth test of series. However this time round Headingley has been left empty in terms over the Ashes. The Headingley ground has seen some great international games in the past, even The Guardian has sympathised in a article, describing the ground as ‘historic’, and is a ground which is much loved by the players. Kevin Pieterson’s 149 against South Africa last year sticks in the mind, and that moment has been described by David Lloyd as his moment of the last summer.
The ECB announced The Ashes venues in 2011,saying: ‘Gold packages were awarded to Trent Bridge, Old Trafford, Edgbaston and the SWALEC Stadium. The silver packages were awarded to the Kia Oval and the Emirates Durham ICG, whilst the bronze package was awarded to the Rose Bowl.’
Headingley has been recognised as one of the main cricket grounds in the country and has been given an international test and one day game each year till 2016. However, none of these tests matches will be Ashes games which is fair to say they are the biggest international cricket matches to be play in the country. It does come to question whether international cricket at Headingley is coming it a descent as other grounds are given a chance to host games. This year Durham will host their first ever Ashes test match,
There are expections of big crowds for the bank holiday weekend test match, however it is the only international game of the year at Headingley. As it looks forward to the one day game against Australia on the 6th September.
For tickets for the England v New Zealand game, you can visit the Yorkshire county cricket website.