Lancashire willing to play all their 2020 season matches away from home

Lancashire’s director of cricket Paul Allott says his club will be prepared to play all of their matches away from home this season.

County cricket has been given the go-ahead to start on August 1 and it was confirmed on Tuesday that there will shortened red-ball and white-ball competitions this summer.

But the Red Rose could be without a home venue as Emirates Old Trafford is being used by England as a ‘bio-secure venue’ which means their ground staff might not have chance to prepare Liverpool as an alternative ground.

Allott says they hope to have Aigburth up and running but will be happy to play away if necessary.

“We are obviously under a little bit of strain in terms of giving Emirates Old Trafford over to England.

“Our operations and grounds team are required to keep the ground up to speed, prepare the ground, whatever is necessary.

“To set up another ground is quite a task but we are hopeful that we can set Liverpool up to be our home venue.

Cricket – Liverpool Victoria County Championship – Division One – Day Three – Lancashire v Sussex – Aigburth
Lancashire are trying to get Aigburth in Liverpool up and running in order to stage home matches there (Gareth Copley/PA)

“We have decided that if the logistical problems are such that we can’t play at Emirates Old Trafford or Liverpool then we will have to play away.

“There is no problem with that, our coaching staff and players are more than happy to play cricket. As a last resort if we have to play away then we will.”

While the initial restart will be played behind closed doors, Allott is hopeful that some spectators may be allowed into grounds for the final part of the season.

Allott hopes to have fans back towards the end of the season
Allott hopes to have some fans back towards the end of the season (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I understand that the Premier League are trying to get crowds, they are looking to start in September with some element of spectators in the grounds,” he added.

“If that is the case then maybe mid-September onwards. And that ties into the time when we would be able to get Emirates Old Trafford back as a venue after all the international cricket.

“That would be fantastic if we could get some spectators into the ground. But let’s not put the cart in front of the horse at the moment, let’s just concentrate on the cricket.”

Another great week, another step closer to playing pic.twitter.com/BrMGwOUC4l

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Lancashire, who will not be using any overseas players this summer, are one of just two counties not to furlough playing staff and Allott hopes that gives his club an advantage.

“I’d like to think we will be as advanced as any other team, probably more advanced. Our guys have been practising for the best part of three weeks, some other counties have only just started this week so it stands to reason that we will be as well prepared as we would be for a normal season. That will be an advantage.

“Some counties feel this will be a bit of a rush now, they have only got four weeks to get prepared, get their bowling loads up and their bowlers up to speed. I think ours should be. Maybe we will have a little bit of a start on them.”

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