Horsham are relishing ‘excellent’ Sussex festival fixtures

Sussex Cricket at Horsham ENGSUS00120121129073147
Sussex Cricket at Horsham ENGSUS00120121129073147

Cricket fever will again hit the town next year as the Horsham Festival of Cricket fixtures were confirmed last week.

Sussex County Cricket Club will once again return to Cricketfield Road in July 2015 for a LV County Championship clash and Royal London One-Day Cup match.

The county club eased fears over question marks hanging over the much-loved festival last month by requesting a slot in their fixture list.

Last year’s festival was plunged into doubt over a lack of funding and only confirmed at the 11th hour due to an anonymous benefactor.

And Sussex and Horsham officials called upon businesses and the council to help preserve its future after another successful week last year.

Its return was confirmed on Friday when the ECB published the First Class fixture list which features a four-day game against Nottinghamshire and a 50-over match in the cup against Lancashire.

The County Championship match on Sunday, July 19, is against a Notts side which impressed on their visit in the Royal London One Day Cup game in Horsham last year.

Sussex will then return to Hove on Friday for a T20 clash with Hampshire, but be back at Horsham on Sunday, July 26, for a white ball game against Lancashire.

Festival organiser Barry Peay said: “These are excellent fixtures for the club and given good weather another exciting festival is eagerly anticipated. The timing is much the same as this year but the four-day game will start on Sunday, which now seems to be the standard day.

“Following the huge success of the 2014 festival in both playing and financial aspects, this outcome is a vote of confidence in the town and club’s abilities to stage games of the highest quality.

“The battery of fast bowlers newly signed by Sussex should enjoy playing on Horsham’s highly-regarded square. Groundsman Jim Askew is expecting the strips to be even better as they settle in after the 2013 autumn treatment.”

Sussex chairman Jim May said: “The players love to play at Horsham and quite often we have a good record there. One reoccurring thing, is that we are looking for better support from the business community.

“We are looking forward to it. Everybody loves playing there, the players, staff and supporters. There are three stages to playing at outgrounds. One, is the wicket good enough? Two, are the facilities good enough? And three, does it make business sense?

“We have invested a lot of money at Hove and it is important to sweat that asset, but we also realise the importance on playing outside of Hove when we can continue playing at these outgrounds.

“Zac Toumazi, our chief executive, will be working with all the guys to work hard and get out in the community there and get more support.

“We do need to get more businesses supporting us and make sure everyone can enjoy these days out.”