Northern Superchargers prove just the ticket as fans buy into Headingley appeal

YORKSHIRE say that Emerald Headingley is experiencing greater demand for tickets for the new 100-ball competition than any venue outside London.

Ben Stokes who has been selected to play for Northern Superchargers in The Hundred.

Andy Dawson, the Yorkshire commercial director and general manager of The Hundred franchise Northern Superchargers, said that initial ticket interest was very encouraging.

No official figures have yet been released by the England and Wales Cricket Board concerning ticket sales, with the initial 17-day priority window for those who have signed up to watch the tournament not closing until tomorrow.

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But the steer that Dawson has received ahead of a second priority window in the first week of April, followed by general sale from April 8, is that Headingley is performing strongly as the countdown continues to the five-week competition that starts in July.

“We understand that, to date, we have sold more tickets than any venue outside London,” said Dawson, with the ongoing priority window also open to those who have previously bought tickets to matches at Headingley after a dedicated county members’ pre-sale window last month.

“It’s a good start, and I’m pleased that interest is there from existing cricket followers because we need as many of the existing cricket family as possible.

“The fixtures are going to be events as well as games of cricket, and they will hopefully appeal to a wider and younger audience too.

“We’re financially incentivised to sell as many tickets as we can and therefore are motivated to do all we can to help the ECB to ensure the competition is successful.”

Dawson said it was “difficult” to put a figure on likely attendances, with ECB chairman Colin Graves having stated that the governing body is budgeting for a 60-65 per cent occupancy rate across the eight venues in the competition’s first year; Headingley’s capacity is 18,500.

Darren Lehmann, the former Yorkshire and Australia batsman, is coach of the Superchargers franchise and currently recovering after triple-bypass heart surgery in Brisbane earlier this month.

“I’m in touch with Darren, who is recovering well, on a regular basis to finalise training sessions, practice matches and itinerary during his time as head coach,” said Dawson.

Meanwhile, Steve Smith, the former Australia captain, has been appointed captain of The Hundred franchise Welsh Fire.