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London Stadium ‘to host’ World Cup cricket

West Ham’s London Stadium looks set to host two cricket matches in the 2019 World Cup.

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is in talks to stage two tournament matches on a drop-in pitch at the former Olympic Stadium.

One of the two games would likely see a sell-out 60,000 crowd watching England in a group encounter. The second would be another of the 44 group games being contested by top tier nations.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said:

It would be an amazing statement to have 55,000 to 60,000 people in a ground in the UK watching World Cup cricket.

It has the right dimensions to play meaningful cricket and there not a lot of other stadiums around the country that have got the capacity to fit the boundaries in.

We will have to tweak the orientation of the ground slightly. There are minimum boundaries that we have to deliver.

The stadium was originally built for athletics and it is still re-converted for events such as the Anniversary Games and the upcoming World Championships.

An inspection of the stadium in January found that the pitch dimensions complied with the necessary requirements for staging one-day internationals. A drop-in wicket would need to be installed.

The managing director of the 2019 World Cup, Steve Elworthy, has visited New Zealand where such wickets are commonly used, to look into the feasibility of the project.

A test event could also be held at the London Stadium next year in the shape of an Essex CCC Twenty20 fixture.

@PanStadiaArena