Sussex signal their intent to return to Horsham for Festival of Cricket

Chris Nash batting at Horsham this year in Sussex's County Championship clash against Warwickshire
Chris Nash batting at Horsham this year in Sussex's County Championship clash against Warwickshire

Sussex County Cricket Club has eased any fears over the future of the Horsham Festival of Cricket by signalling their intent to play at Cricketfield Road in 2015.

There were big concerns expressed over the future of the event earlier this year despite a hugely-successful festival in 2014.

July’s event only took place after a donation from an anonymous benefactor and bosses at Sussex and Horsham Cricket Club had called on support from the community and business to ensure the future of the event.

The signs are now good as Sussex have requested a slot for the Horsham festival next year and are awaiting confirmation from the ECB.

Hopes from within Horsham are that Yorkshire will emerge as the County Championship opposition to complete the list of first class counties visiting Cricketfield Road.

The groups for the Royal London One-Day Cup have been announced and there are a number of possible local derby games to provide interest.

The First Class fixture list for next tear will be announced at the end of November.

The financial outcome of the festival week has been announced and Horsham’s 25 per cent share of the overall profit is a shade under £10,000.

Horsham Festival of Cricket organiser Barry Peay said: “This is back to the levels of five years ago when the current profit-sharing scheme was established.

“It shows that five full sunny days of good cricket against attractive opposition can yield a good outcome for the town club and maintain the county club’s wish to return. It also means that Horsham can continue to invest to provide good surfaces for playing and practice.”

The last major ground renovations have finished after the HSC fireworks last Saturday night drew a large crowd, but dry conditions and a favourable wind meant repairs were at a minimum.

After receiving the Sussex Cricket League Groundsman of the Year award at the recent league dinner for his first season’s Saturday pitches, Jim Askew now awaits the result of the Outground of the Year competition, which will be revealed during the gathering of county groundsmen and their teams at Worcester next month.

Peay added: “Scarborough have won the award in recent years but following the excellent reports on the festival pitches this year, Jim can only wait and hope and see if he can follow in the footsteps of Bill Ford and Jeg Francis.”