Worcestershire: Championship game with Sussex moved to Kidderminster

Chester Road, Kidderminster staged its first Worcestershire first-class fixture in 1921
Chester Road, Kidderminster staged its first Worcestershire first-class fixture in 1921

Worcestershire have switched next week's County Championship home game with Sussex to Kidderminster due to the threat of flooding at New Road.

Following the recent poor weather, the Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for the River Severn, which runs by the ground at Worcester.

The game has also been put back a day to Tuesday 18 June, to allow groundstaff extra time to prepare.

The Pears have not used Chester Road for a Championship game since 2008.

But they did have a CB40 one-day game there against the Netherlands in 2012.

After a short period when Worcestershire opted to use the Royal Grammar School at Flagge Meadow as their back-up option Chester Road is now officially the county's chief out ground again.

Worcestershire groundsman Tim Packwood published this picture on Twitter to show the extent of the damage so far at New Road
Worcestershire groundsman Tim Packwood published this picture on Twitter to show the extent of the damage so far at New Road

The prospects for next week are not promising, however. The BBC weather app forecasts rain in Kidderminster on days two and three of the rescheduled Championship fixture.

Kidderminster, which has also taken a lot of rain this week, have a home Birmingham League game there against Dorridge on Saturday,

"This is not an ideal situation," said Worcestershire chief executive Matt Rawnsley. "However, the change of venue gives us the best chance of playing next week's fixture.

"Kidderminster has hosted many first-class fixtures over the years and we are extremely grateful for their assistance at such short notice.

"We would also like to thank the ECB and Sussex County Cricket Club for their co-operation."

Worcester under water

Worcestershire's New Road home is regularly under water over the winter - and the county fixture list has been sensibly structured over the last two seasons to avoid any potential early season cancellations.

This year's first home Championship game was not until May. But the last time the ground was under water in mid-summer was in 2007, when they suffered the second worst flood in the county's history.

Although the river runs right past New Road, the flooding problem is chiefly caused about a mile downstream close to where it meets its tributary, the Teme.

The excess water then comes back over the flood plain beyond the Diglis End of the ground and back up through the drains.

Worcestershire's out ground home at Kidderminster, the county's chief evacuation post during the flood of 2007, has not been used for a Championship game since 2008
Worcestershire's out ground home at Kidderminster, the county's chief evacuation post during the flood of 2007, has not been used for a Championship game since 2008

Kidderminster, which stands on a hill on the south side of the town and is noted for its fast draining, has staged 68 Worcestershire first-class fixtures since first being used in 1921.

It was the county's main standby option in 2007 when they also hosted home games at short notice at grounds as far apart as Himley, Derby, Taunton and even Edgbaston.

By a twist of fate, Warwickshire are due to host a Championship Division One home game against Essex at Worcester next month (13-16 July).