English county cricket team, Essex CCC, has agreed a deal in principle to play Twenty20 matches in London’s Olympic Stadium.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium will become ‘home’ to West Ham United FC in August 2016 and in the same year that the English Premier League team is slated to make its debut at the Stadium, Essex CCC is hoping to play its Twenty20 matches here during a two-week ‘festival’ featuring other local teams Kent and Middlesex.
Essex CCC Chief Executive, Derek Bowden, claims the plans have the support of both the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC); the organisation that oversees use of the Olympic Park following the 2012 Olympic Games.
Bowden told radio station BBC Essex:
In principle, there is an agreement that a two-week festival of T20-type cricket could be played at the Olympic Park from 2016. Ourselves, Kent and Middlesex have all expressed interest in playing there. London Legacy and the ECB are very supportive of the notion of a two-week festival of cricket in the summer.
Essex CCC first stated its wish to play at the Olympic Park in 2010 and had a bid to become a tenant of the stadium knocked back in March 2012. The county’s Chelmsford ground is 30 miles from the east London venue and is in the process of an £80m (€98.1m/$134.6m) redevelopment.