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Twenty20 triple header set for Cheltenham Cricket Festival

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

  • past glory: Gloucestershire Gladiators take on Surrey Lions at Archdeacon Meadow. There will be no county cricket in Gloucester next year

  • hope: Tom Richardson would like to see county cricket at Gloucester

  • iconic: The cricket festival at Cheltenham College

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GLOUCESTERSHIRE will continue to explore ways to bring county cricket back to Gloucester, despite the county town missing out on a first-class fixture in 2013.

County chief executive Tom Richardson explained that the current county cricket fixture programme meant that a return to The King's School was financially "unviable" next term.

The county played two Twenty 20 fixtures at Archdeacon Meadow in the summer of 2010 and 2011, but a reduction in the number of home fixtures meant no games in 2012.

Richardson confirmed that the club will do all it can to bring first-class cricket back to the county town in future years.

"The difficulty with it is that we have to play two games in Gloucester back-to-back to make it financially viable," Richardson said.

"We obviously would love to go back to Archdeacon Meadow, it's a really good location and it lends itself well to t20 cricket.

"It's something we would have to explore for future years.

"We went through the costings and we know that t20 works better than four-day cricket at Gloucester as the championship games aren't very well attended there.

"It is not economically viable to do a four-day game followed by a one day game there with the current programme.

"With only five t20 home games over the season, three of which are in Cheltenham it just doesn't make sense to go there currently, unfortunately."

While Gloucester misses out, cricket fans in the north of the county can look forward to the spectre of Twenty20 making its Cheltenham Cricket Festival debut.

The newest and brashest form of the game will be part of the world's longest-running cricket festival with games against Warwicshire, Northamptonshire and Glamorgan set to thrill capacity crowds.

Gloucestershire will also play LV= County Championship fixtures against Kent and Warwickshire during the 12 day Festival that kicks off on Wednesday July 10.

"We are pleased and excited to be taking Twenty20 games to Cheltenham. It's great news for the Festival and a terrific opportunity too," Richardson said.

"Hopefully by having Twenty20 games there we will be able to attract a whole new pile of people top come and watch cricket there.

"We are confident that it will be a great success on a small outfield with the crowd very close to the action.

"To have three of our five games there is great and we've got two terrific four-day games there as well.

"Kent are always well supported and we love having them there and it's great to have Worcestershire there too as it's a local derby and is always a really good game, and honestly it's about time we beat them."

"We always look forward to going to Cheltenham, we never get tired of playing there and always look forward to it.

"It's a great event and there's always a really special atmosphere around the whole two weeks.

"To now add Twenty20 to that mix, makes for a great cocktail between tradition and the newest form of the game."

Richardson also confirmed that the county have identified a preferred candidate to be both overseas professional and skipper next term.

Negotiations are currently on-going and the club hope to be able to make an announcement in the near future.

APRIL

10 Essex (CC) @Chelmsford

24 Northants (CC)@Bristol

30 Leics (CC)@Grace Road

MAY

4 Leics (40) @ Grace Road

6 Unicorns (40) @TBC

8 Hampshire (CC) @Bristol

12 Middlesex (40) @Bristol

15 Cambridge MCCU (F) @ Fenners

19 Glamorgan (40) @ Cardiff

22 Worcs (CC) @New Road

26 Unicorns (40) @Bristol

29 Lancashire (CC) @ Liverpool

JUNE

2 Yorkshire (40) @ Headingley

5 Glamorgan (CC) @Bristol

12 Hampshire (CC) @Ageas Bowl

16 Yorkshire (40) @Bristol

21 Australia A (F) @Bristol

28 Northants (T20) (fl) @ Northampton

30 Worcs (T20) @Bristol

JULY

5 Somerset (T20) @ Taunton

7 Worcs (T20) @ New Road

10 Kent (CC) @ Cheltenham

14 Warwicks (T20) @Cheltenham

16 Northants (T20) @ Cheltenham

17 Worcs (CC) @Cheltenham

21 Glamorgan (T20) @ Cheltenham

24 Warwicks (T20) (fl) @ Edgbaston

26 Somerset (T20) @Bristol

30 Glamorgan (T20) (fl) @Cardiff

AUGUST

2 Northants (CC) @ Northampton

11 Somerset (40) @ Taunton

13 Leices (40) @ Bristol

15 Middlesex (40) (fl) @ Lord’s

19 Glamorgan (40) @ Bristol

21 Kent (CC) @ Canterbury

26 Somerset (40) @ Bristol

28 Essex (CC) @ Bristol

SEPTEMBER

3 Leics (CC) @ Bristol

17 Lancashire (CC) @ Bristol

24 Glamorgan (CC) @ Cardiff

Key: CC = LV County Championship Division Two; 40 = Clydesdale Bank 40; T20 = Friends Life t20; F = Friendly

For the full fixtures, visit www.gloscricket.co.uk/cricket/fixtures.

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