Later today, at 10am, the full fixture calendar will be published for the three domestic men's competitions in the 2024 season.
Once again, Lord’s Cricket Ground will host four of Middlesex’s home South Group matches in the Vitality Blast, leaving three of the Club’s seven home games to be played at venues away from Lord’s.
In recent seasons, both Radlett Cricket Club and Merchant Taylors’ School have been the choice as Middlesex’s preferred home venues for out-ground cricket, however in 2024, the Club has taken the decision to play two matches at the Cloud County Ground in Chelmsford, with one fixture remaining at Radlett.
Speaking of today’s announcement, Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cornish, commented:
“We have gone to lengths to be transparent and open with our members when discussing the financial position the Club is in, and moving forwards we need to continue to take every step we can to ensure we remain rigorous in our control of the Club’s costs.
“The cost of setting up the infrastructure of an out-ground venue is a significant liability the Club has historically had to factor into our financial model every year – increasingly so in recent seasons with the enhancements we have made to the member experience at out-ground matches.
“As we continue to scrutinise every cost the Club incurs, out-ground set-up costs stand out as an area which we could make a significant positive impact on.
“We have, as a result, been in discussion with our friends at Essex, who have been very receptive to the idea of hosting us at the Cloud County Ground for two of our Blast matches this year.
“For Middlesex, this represents an opportunity for us to make a significant financial uplift to the Club, which is something that we simply cannot ignore, and with Chelmsford just over 20 minutes away on the train out of Stratford station, we felt it provided a sensible solution.
“Equally importantly, we have consulted with the professional playing group on this decision, who were unanimous in their support, given their desire to play more cricket at first-class venues, with first-class facilities available to them.
“All at Middlesex, the players and the staff, along with all at Essex, are excited about what this opportunity represents and we are looking forward to Middlesex competing at the Cloud County Ground this summer.
“Our thanks go to our members and our supporters for their understanding of this venue choice and hope you appreciate the sound financial reasons for the decision. Whilst this may seem like a radical decision, it is one that we need to make to ensure that Middlesex gets back on a more stable financial footing.”
Ticket information for both Middlesex Blast matches at the Cloud County Ground will be announced in due course.