Yorkshire County Cricket Club have made a major step forward in the development of their Headingley ground by being granted permission from Leeds City Council to erect four permanent floodlights from 2015.
With the pace of change at other county grounds increasing, which is improving the facilities and competition across the country, more than ever it is imperative for grounds such as Headingley to keep pace.
Recently Yorkshire have developed their ground with an impressive new pavilion and media centre erected. However, they know they cannot stand still as more counties than ever are competing for the limited number of International fixtures each year.
Gone are the days of just the tried and tested grounds - Lords, The Oval, Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and Headingley - being gifted the major games.
Many grounds have improved and are vying for international cricket in their own right, such as Hampshire's Ageas Bowl, Cardiff's SWALEC stadium and Durham's Emirates. Yorkshire, therefore, need to keep developing.
The four new floodlights will be 184ft high and will cost in the region of £1.8m. The club have been helped by a grant from the England and Wales Cricket Board for £700,000 and are looking to raise the remaining £1.1m through other avenues.
Speaking to Yorkshire's website YCCC chief executive Mark Arthur said it was a "major step forward for the club."
"We want to create a stadium that is amongst the finest in the world and enable Yorkshire to continue to stage major international fixtures over the long term," he said.
Yorkshire have been granted International cricket this season with a Test match against Sri Lanka starting on the 20th June and an ODI against India on the 5th September. However, they know that they cannot rest on their laurels as competition is fierce amongst all the potential International venues, so the granting of these permanent floodlights is a huge step in the right direction for the club and it's longer term aspirations.
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