A Monumental Cricketing Summer for Emerald Headingley
Yorkshire opens the doors of their new Emerald Stand with a one-day international between England and Pakistan on 19 May, with the club believing it is the symbol for a bright future both on and off the field at Headingley. Sunday’s fifth ODI, the last in the series, marks both countries’ final competitive fixture before the World Cup starts at the end of the month.
Headingley will host four matches during the World Cup and then an Ashes Test Match, the third in the series (August 22-26), for the first time in ten years.
“There’s so much to embrace about 2019. It’s a special one-off year,” said White Rose Chief Executive Mark Arthur. “I think it is exciting for all cricket in this country, but for us there is a real difference in that we’re going to be able to showcase the new stand. When you look out at the ground and you see the shape of it, it’s a proper cricket ground. We truly have world-class facilities here all the way around the ground for the first time ever.
“With the amount of exciting cricket that’s going on in this country – the World Cup, the Ashes, this one-day series, the Championship, the T20 Blast, the positive talk now about the Hundred – it’s brilliant for everyone. The new 4,406 capacity stand, which replaces the old Football Stand and takes the ground capacity to 18,350, maybe a significant step forwards for Yorkshire, but it is certainly not the final piece in the jigsaw.
“When you get someone like the England Test captain (Joe Root) turning up at media day before the season, seeing it for the first time with the seats in and near completion, saying: ‘Wow’ – that speaks volumes,” added Arthur. “This is hopefully a ground where everybody involved in Yorkshire Cricket can be very proud.
“It’s been a dream to see the evolution of the ground take place. There’s the opportunity for further improvement. But the key when you’ve got something that’s really good, you have to maximise it. So it’s all the little things you don’t necessarily see when you’re inside the bowl. It’s the service side outside, the toilets, the access, the catering facilities and stewarding.
“In a few years we hope to be playing to crowds in the T20 Blast, the Hundred and international cricket.”