Olympic Stadium could host cricket festival - Essex chief

Essex chief Derek Bowden says plans to play Twenty20 cricket at the Olympic Stadium could include other teams.

The Chelmsford club have discussed the prospect with London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the organisation responsible for the stadium's future.

Multi-purpose cricket stadiums

  • Melbourne Cricket Ground: The Australian 100,000-capacity venue has hosted football, Aussie Rules and both codes of rugby as well as cricket
  • Moses Mabhida Stadium: Located in Durban, South Africa, the 54,000-seater stadium was a World Cup football venue that also hosts cricket
  • Eden Park: Auckland's 50,000-capacity stadium hosts rugby union and rugby league and has a removable cricket pitch
  • Westpac Stadium: Capable of holding 36,000, the Wellington venue hosts football, rugby union, rugby league and cricket
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium: Football and cricket are played at the 70,000-capacity stadium in Kochi, India

"I had a conversation with the LLDC a few weeks ago and they're very keen for there to be a cricket festival," the Essex chief executive told BBC Essex.

"Not before 2016 because there is work to be done. But we're keen to do it."

West Ham will be the main tenants of the venue from 2016, but the LLDC has previously said it would be open to cricket being played at the East London arena, which will also host athletics and possibly rugby.

Essex, who are also trying to finalise plans for an £80m redevelopment of their Chelmsford ground, regularly sell out their 7,000-capacity venue and hope to attract larger crowds in Stratford.

"The conversations I've had have been about a two-week window where we, and maybe a few other counties, play cricket there to maximise the use of the stadium and mitigate the investment needed to convert it for cricket," said Bowden, a former chief executive of Ipswich Town.

"Job number one is our own ground redevelopment, but we're looking forward to playing cricket in London."