Leicestershire county cricket club hopeful for successful summer season on and off pitch
By Jayden Whitworth
Leicestershire County Cricket Club is in full flow in preparation for the beginning of the summer cricket season.
With the county cricket season set to kick off in April later this year, the team at Leicestershire are embarking on an intricate plan to ensure the safety of players and staff with COVID-19 restrictions still in place.
Further problems arise with fans safely returning to stadiums in May.
The county’s cricket club has experienced a hefty financial impact along with Leicestershire’s other sports clubs, mostly due to the absence of ticket sales.
Leicestershire and other clubs across the country, as well as the English Cricket Board, will be hoping that they can reignite the nation’s passion for cricket after the success of the Cricket World Cup in 2019 and get fans through the gates.
This summer could prove to be a busy one for Leicestershire County Cricket Club with Virat Kohli’s India set to play at the Uptonsteel County Ground.
Dan Nice, cricket operations manager at Leicestershire, said: “It’s been a tough year for everyone really, but at sports clubs, not being able to get fans in and not having the outdoor events has impacted significantly.
“In essence it has been a case of keeping costs down to a minimum and set prudent budgets for this year and hopefully everything will start to open up again.
“There was never going to be a good time for lockdown to turn up, but in reflection it came at a really bad time for cricket.
“Our team was about to go out on the pre-season tour, around this time last year.
“I can imagine clubs are having a battle with keeping people engaged with cricket as well as promoting cricket to youngsters.”
When discussing the prospect of having fans in the ground when India come to Leicester in July, Dan said: “To have the potential of India here, it just opens so many doors for so many people, obviously the chance for people to see their heroes playing in their backyard is important.
“Naturally it is important for the club to get crowds back in, and the benefits to the financial side, but from a cultural perspective it is such an important game.”
With Leicester having the second highest Indian population in the country, the potential of having India at the Leicestershire County Cricket Ground in late July is understandably creating excitement around the city.