Marylebone Cricket Club will "seek reassurances that Lord's will continue to stage two Test matches each summer" after it was revealed that the number of home England Tests is to be cut from '20, according to Elizabeth Ammon of the LONDON TIMES. As part of an "overhaul of English cricket," which will include a return to free-to-air TV for the first time in 15 years, home Tests will be reduced to six per summer and five during Ashes summers. A "number of counties have expressed surprise at the revelations." Revenue from int'l matches is a "significant source of income" for the Test match grounds and counties are "nervous that a reduction in the number of matches will mean a substantial loss in their income." The Oval, home of Surrey County Cricket Club, has a staging agreement in place until '22 that guarantees at least one Test and one ODI each summer. If Lord's is granted two Tests per summer and the Oval continues with its agreed one, that will leave the other seven Test venues with "only three matches between them." The majority of counties outside of London that host int'l fixtures have "taken out substantial loans to develop the venues." The repayment of these loans is based on a "projected amount of income from leading matches" (LONDON TIMES, 5/18).
The "latest jewel in Geelong's sporting crown" was unveiled on Thursday, with "Geelong’s patron claiming it will help attract" the Big Bash League, A-League and Australian Football League Women's to the city, according to Harrison Tippet of the GEELONG ADVERTISER. After two-and-a-half years, "the curtain has been raised" on the fourth stage of Simonds Stadium's A$91M ($67.5M) redevelopment. The 4,700-square-foot football department and training area includes the city's biggest gym and cardio area -- three times bigger than the club's current gym -- as well as a bigger player welfare and development center, new locker room and auditorium. Philanthropist and former AFL side Geelong President Frank Costa said that the stadium "would benefit all of Geelong." He said, "Between Big Bash cricket, soccer, football -- including the ladies -- you'll have a lot of usage of the stadium, which will be great for the economy of Geelong" (GEELONG ADVERTISER, 5/18).