Yorkshire CCC fixtures: Scarborough misses out on Roses match, and only one day of cricket at Headingley in summer months

SCARBOROUGH Cricket Club has been left disappointed after missing out on a County Championship Roses match for a third successive year.

Yorkshire players will ste out at Scarborough for 10 days of cricket this summer, just not the County Championship Roses match as the club had hoped. (Picture: Richard Sellers/SWPix.com)
Yorkshire players will ste out at Scarborough for 10 days of cricket this summer, just not the County Championship Roses match as the club had hoped. (Picture: Richard Sellers/SWPix.com)

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Club officials had been hoping that the prestigious contest between Yorkshire and Lancashire would finally return to North Marine Road for the first time since 1991.

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However, after the match scheduled for 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic and then last year’s fixture switched to Headingley due to the impact of Covid restrictions on crowd numbers, it was a case of third time unlucky for what is widely considered to be England’s finest outground.

A general view of North Marine Road which will host 10 dyas of cricket in 2022 (Picture: Will Palmer/SWPix.com)

“It’s disappointing that there’s no Championship Roses game at Scarborough, ” said Bill Mustoe, the Yorkshire vice-president and Scarborough board member.

“So it’s now 30 years-plus without one, which I think is a pity, and I know that many, many fans were looking forward to the prospect.

“The advance bookings that we had for the fixture during Covid were phenomenal, with crowds expected each day of around 6,000-plus.

“We did request to play Lancashire at Scarborough again, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.”

There won't be much cricket played at Headingley in the summer months.

The match will instead be played at Headingley from May 12, with the return game at Old Trafford from September 5.

Scarborough will host the Championship fixtures against Surrey from July 11 and Hampshire from July 25, along with 50-over Cup games against Worcestershire on August 7 and Hampshire on August 23.

“Although it’s disappointing, let’s hope that we get some great cricket anyway and that the sun shines on Scarborough,” added Mustoe.

“Surrey is a good game for us, and there will hopefully be a lot of interest in all of the matches.

“The Festival, I guess, is going to be the Hampshire game, which will be an early Festival but we don’t really have much option with that.

“There’s no Championship cricket in August this year, so it’s a case of having to work with the schedule as it is.”

Scarborough remains the jewel in Yorkshire’s cricketing crown, with thousands making the annual pilgrimage to the seaside.

It has staged only two Championship Roses games in its history, however (the other was in 1989), with the fixtures typically held at the respective headquarters.

“It’s a shame, and it seems to have been a bit of a doomed fixture, this one,” reflected Mustoe.

“At least it looks as though this year’s games will be played without any sort of Covid restrictions after all the disruption of the past two years.

“That’s obviously a real plus, and we look forward to all of our matches with anticipation.

“The ground is looking fantastic, everything’s looking superb, and all we need now is for that weather to play ball.”

Although there is no Championship Roses game at Scarborough, there is a limited-overs Roses fixture at York, which stages the One-Day Cup meeting between the counties on August 4.

York’s other 50-over contest comes two days earlier against Northants, with Clifton Park now an established and highly-welcome addition to the fixture card.

Yorkshire, who are confirmed participants in the Championship top flight, having feared that the Azeem Rafiq racism crisis could result in relegation (it could still result in disciplinary sanction pending the outcome of an England and Wales Cricket Board investigation), will be looking to win their first Championship title since 2015, along with their first limited-overs trophy since 2002.

They start their four-day campaign against Gloucestershire at Bristol from April 14, with their first Championship home match a fortnight later against Kent at Headingley.

The lack of Championship cricket in August is because of The Hundred, although there will be five Championship rounds in June/July as opposed to three last year.

However, the schedule remains unbalanced and often unintelligible, with only one day of cricket scheduled for Headingley between June 8 and September 12: a T20 match against Birmingham Bears on July 1.

Equally strange is that six of Yorkshire’s first seven T20 group games are at Headingley, with six of the last seven away – symmetery, albeit of the sort that means home supporters have to fork 
out for matches in quick succession.

It is, fingers crossed, a season that will transition into a more sensible schedule going forward as the fall-out continues from England’s Ashes debacle.

There is a growing acceptance among the powers-that-be – several years too late, of course – that the situation cannot continue in its present state, with the lack of emphasis on, and respect for, red-ball cricket cruelly exposed as England capitulated to a 4-0 defeat Down Under, which would have been 5-0 but for an unlikely escape with nine wickets down in the fourth Test in Sydney.

Actions, however, will speak louder than soundbites.