Bob Willis Trophy: Lancashire v Leicestershire to be played New Road
Leicestershire’s opening Bob Willis Trophy game with Lancashire has been moved to Worcester’s New Road.
Restrictions are still in place in the city of Leicester following a local spike in coronavirus cases.
Grace Road, the original scheduled venue, had passed all of the safety measures but the decision was taken to move to a neutral venue – and Lancashire will now be the hosts.
Leicestershire are still scheduled to play three red-ball games in Leicester.
They have home matches against Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, starting on 8 and 22 August respectively, while their away match against Durham, starting on 15 August, has now been moved from Chester-le-Street to Grace Road.
Lancashire’s two home games against Nottinghamshire (15-18 August) and Derbyshire (6-9 September) are at Old Trafford and Liverpool respectively.
But they were unable to mobilise an outground at such short notice to stage the Leicestershire game, while bio-secure Old Trafford has been in use as England’s Test home for the past fortnight.
After staging two Tests against West Indies, Old Trafford also hosts the first Test against Pakistan on 5 August.
New Road has a hotel attached to the ground and has been in use in recent weeks as a bio-secure venue for the Pakistan tourists.
It was also chosen to host a red-ball fixture between two other counties last season when Essex and Warwickshire were due to meet, as Edgbaston was unavailable because of World Cup use.
But, following flood damage, the England & Wales Cricket Board sanctioned Essex and Warwickshire to switch County Championship fixtures and host the game at Chelmsford.