County cricket hopes given boost

Hastings’ hopes of staging county cricket in 2011 have been given a boost.

A six-man working party, headed by ECB chief executive David Collier and including Sussex chief executive Dave Brooks, decided during a meeting on Wednesday, last week, to retain the existing schedule for next year.

Sussex chairman Jim May told Observer Sport back in August that the county plans to hold a Friends Provident t20 game at Horntye Park Sports Complex if the structure of the competition is unchanged.

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Each county had eight home games in this year’s T20 competition, but there had been calls to revert to the old style where everyone had five after the enlarged format proved a turn-off for spectators.

The 18 first class counties were unable to reach agreement over the domestic schedule last month and the working party has decided to delay any changes until 2012.

The working party will meet again before making formal recommendations to the ECB board on November 17. Next season’s county fixtures are not likely to be released until December.

Sussex last came to Horntye Park in May 2008, but the 50-overs-per-side Friends Provident Trophy tie against Essex was abandoned without a ball being bowled following overnight rain.