First-day washout deepens uncertainty around New Road's future

Worcestershire head coach Alan Richardson talks with chief executive Ashley Giles Getty Images

Worcestershire vs Nottinghamshire - no play possible

Worcestershire's return to playing cricket at Visit Worcestershire New Road ended in a frustrating first-day blank in the Vitality County Championship encounter with Nottinghamshire.

There was an eager sense of anticipation amongst members and supporters with Worcestershire back at their headquarters after being forced to switch their opening two home games with Durham and Somerset to Kidderminster.

Eight floods had engulfed the ground during the winter but hopes of play on being back to their headquarters were dashed by a damp patch on the bowlers run-up at the New Road End.

Umpires Nigel Llong and Surendiran Shanmugam decided on no play before lunch and a large infra-red heater was posted across the problem area after 15 hours of rain on Wednesday had left that section of the ground saturated.

Groundstaff worked tirelessly to try and ensure play could go ahead and even dug out blocks of turf which were cooked on a diesel heater in the groundsman's shed to dry them out.

But the umpires decided at 1.30pm to abandon play for the day and it was announced over the PA system "that the outfield was way too wet."

The washout deepens the uncertainty surrounding New Road's future, with Ashley Giles, Worcestershire's chief executive, admitting earlier this season that the club was actively exploring the possibility of a permanent move to a new home.

"I don't think we can carry on like this," Giles told BBC Hereford and Worcester in April. "It's costing us a lot of money. The ground is here to stage cricket, to be a venue for entertainment and hospitality. But conditions are seemingly getting worse."

Notts 2nd innings Partnerships

1st77BT SlaterH Hameed
2nd8WA YoungH Hameed
3rd147JM ClarkeH Hameed
4th2LJ FletcherJM Clarke