Yorkshire cricket 'could return to Sheffield' as soon as 2020, reveals chief executive Mark Arthur

Yorkshire could return to Sheffield Collegiate's Abbeydale Park in 2020
Yorkshire could return to Sheffield Collegiate's Abbeydale Park in 2020
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Yorkshire cricket could return to the Steel City of Sheffield under plans drawn up by Headingley chiefs, the club revealed today.

Yorkshire, who were formed in Sheffield at the Adelphi Theatre in 1863, are now based in Leeds and play some games on their outground at Scarborough.

But Yorkshire cricket has deep roots in Sheffield, from the early days of first-class and Test cricket at Bramall Lane through to the use of Sheffield Collegiate's Abbeydale Park as an outground between 1974 and 1996.

In total, Yorkshire played 41 first-class and 12 List A games at Abbeydale up to 1996 but since, their visits to the Steel City have been limited to exhibition and warm-up games.

But, under plans drawn up by chief executive Mark Arthur, Abbeydale and Park Avenue, in Bradford, are under consideration for competitive games from 2020, when the introduction of the ECB's new city-based Twenty20 competition is expected to increase the schedule of domestic cricket.

"We will be playing our cricket at Headingley and at Scarborough in 2019," Arthur said, "but we are currently talking to Sheffield Collegiate with the view of taking some List A cricket down to Sheffield from 2020 onwards.

“That was where Yorkshire County Cricket Club was formed, at the Adelphi Hotel in 1863, and there is the Joe Root and Michael Vaughan connection as well. We think it’s only right that going forward we start to reintroduce quality cricket.

“Whether it be First-Class, I don’t know at this stage. But certainly List A cricket from 2020 providing they make some changes to their facilities.

“We are also in the process of redeveloping Park Avenue in Bradford.

“I would have thought that from, certainly 2021 onwards, all the big games will be played at Emerald Headingley and then Scarborough, Sheffield and Bradford will come into play from there.

“A lot depends on the allocation of [international] matches and how they schedule the new T20 city based competition in line with either List A or Championship cricket that Yorkshire will be playing at the same time.

“That’s where it gives us the opportunity to go back to Sheffield and to Park Avenue whilst keeping a fair proportion of cricket at Scarborough.”

Both Vaughan and Root, England captains past and present, took their formative cricketing steps at Abbeydale Park and Collegiate have produced a number of notable other first-class cricketers, including Joe's brother Billy - of Nottinghamshire - and Richard Kettleborough, who played for Yorkshire and Middlesex before going on to become the world's No.1 umpire.

Vaughan tweeted: “Great news, and absolutely the right decision... spread the game around the county.”