PEARS chief Fanos Hira has lavished praise on county staff for their ‘tireless’ work in ensuring New Road can welcome back spectators later this month.
Members will be able to watch cricket for the first time in more than a year when Worcestershire host Derbyshire on May 27 in round eight of the LV=Insurance County Championship.
The news was confirmed on Monday (May 10) by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who revealed the Government would move to step three of its roadmap to unlock the country from the coronavirus lockdown.
And while entry will be limited as restrictions will still be in place until at least June 21, club chairman Hira revealed his delight at the prospect of fans returning.
“They (club staff) deserve enormous credit and thanks. I know all staff, players and coaches can’t wait to see you back at New Road supporting our team,” he said in an update to members. “When crowds do return to New Road, we hope you’ll notice some improvements – we have switched on our new Wi-Fi system across our ground – hosted by The Cloud – which will allow for free, fast internet access for all spectators.
“Members will also be able to order food, drink and retail items from their seat, and it will be brought to them. It may seem revelatory for us as cricket fans, but it has been in operation in the US for 30 or more years.”
The New Road figurehead also spoke of his hope that all restrictions will be lifted on June 21, allowing Worcestershire to optimally operate at full capacity.
“We have Vitality Blast games home fixtures against Durham, Leicestershire and against the Birmingham Bears and our overseas players Ben Dwarshuis and Sandeep Lamichhane arrive soon,” said Hira.
“We have been pleased with the feedback from live streaming our home games against Nottinghamshire and Essex at New Road. The club has worked well to ensure last year’s gremlins have been overcome.
“We and all other counties have benefited from previous years’ experiences, and the uptake has been strong. Our cricket is easily and readily accessible on many platforms (our website, ECB hub), and on YouTube, by searching for Worcestershire Cricket.
“Viewing figures have reached over 120,000 on YouTube alone across the eight days played.
“We will continue to stream all live games at New Road. It is an area we will invest more in and improve further. For example, our Vitality Blast home games will feature our own commentary team providing additional content on our team, our club and our opposition.”