ONE of the most significant changes to the county cricket schedule this summer is the move to regular Twenty20 matches on Friday nights.
Yorkshire play 10 of their 14 Twenty20 group games on a Friday night, including five of their seven home matches.
It means Headingley is a more logistically sensible and financially viable venue than Scarborough to host such games, and explains why there is no Twenty20 cricket at North Marine Road in 2014. Instead, the seaside ground will stage its customary two County Championship games and two one-day matches, but the one-dayers will be 50-over affairs in the new Royal London One-Day Cup.
Bill Mustoe, chairman of Scarborough Cricket Club and a Yorkshire CCC vice-president, believes the change will benefit both parties.
“With the move to Twenty20 cricket on Friday nights, it makes much more sense to play those games at Headingley,” he said.
“Fridays would not be the best opportunity for Scarborough or Yorkshire in that respect, because I can’t see people from West Yorkshire travelling for three hours’ cricket on a Friday and then going back home again.
“Mark Arthur (the Yorkshire chief executive) and I talked about this situation and we both felt that Scarborough was a much better place for 50-over games.
“Corporate people from the city will go from work on a Friday evening to Headingley, but if the games were in Scarborough they’d have to leave work early, and the bottom line is Yorkshire would make more money from Twenty20 games on a Friday at Headingley.”
Scarborough is the jewel in Yorkshire’s cricketing crown, with the ground guaranteed 10 days of county cricket each summer and a popular destination for young and old.
Mustoe says the relationship between Scarborough and Yorkshire is as strong as ever – and he paid tribute to Arthur for strengthening that bond.
“The relationship is as good as it’s been in my experience,” said Mustoe. “Mark Arthur understands perfectly the importance of Scarborough to Yorkshire and we have got a very good working relationship with him. The bottom line is people love watching cricket at Scarborough, and we’ve got another fascinating summer in prospect at the club. In addition to the Yorkshire first team games, we’ve got two Yorkshire second team matches and three ladies games, so it promises to be a fascinating season.”
Having undergone extensive refurbishment in recent times, it has been a quiet winter in that respect at North Marine Road.
“We’ve done a bit of tidying up,” said Mustoe. “Nothing major, just a bit of repainting and improving one or two things here and there. We’ve re-carpeted the top floor of the pavilion, so hopefully that will be welcomed by members. The ground is looking well going into the new season.”
Yorkshire games at Scarborough in 2014
July 19-22: v Middlesex – County Championship.
Aug 11: v Essex – One-Day Cup.
Aug 13: v Derbyshire – One-Day Cup.
Aug 15-18: v Sussex – County Championship.