WORCESTERSHIRE face a race against time to have their new executive facilities completed in time for this summer’s prestigious fixture with the touring Australians.
Work on the £10million redevelopment of New Road, which includes a Premier Inn hotel as well as executive areas and office facilities, has been delayed by as much as four weeks after the ground was hit by flooding no less than four times over the winter.
However, although the contractors have been working evenings and weekends in a bid to claw back lost time, County chief executive David Leatherdale admits it is touch and go if the new facilities will be ready for the Baggy Green’s pre-Ashes four-day warm-up game that starts on July 2.
Steve Rhodes’ side have already agreed to start the season with five consecutive away fixtures – three in the LV= County Championship, one Yorkshire Bank 40 game and the university match against Oxford MCCU – to allow the project to reach a stage where New Road can host matches.
Temporary facilities and entrances to the ground will be in operation for the first part of the season, but it was planned to have the all-new executive areas ready in time for a grand unveiling prior to the Australia match, but this now looks doubtful.
Leatherdale said: “At the moment, we are a month behind the potential completion date of June 10, which makes it tight for the Australia game at the beginning of July.
“The situation will be clearer at the end of March when all the steel framework will be up and the contractors will be able to have a more definitive timescale, so we are hopeful we will have at least some of the new facilities open in time for the Australia game.”