Essex planning to share Olympic Stadium

Chelmsford would remain the home ground for Essex’s County

Championship matches but the club are keen to explore the

possibility of playing Twenty20 cricket at the Stratford venue.

Essex CCC chief executive David East said: “We are very much

looking forward to exploring this with Newham and West Ham. “Our

home ground will remain at the Ford County Ground in Chelmsford,

but it would be fantastic to be able to play some of our expanded

Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Olympic Stadium. “We have a very

active development programme in the east end of London, and this

would give us an ideal opportunity to extend our community work

even further with a centre of excellence in the borough.” East has

discussed how such a joint bid might work with representatives of

West Ham and the council. If viable, the bid will be submitted to

the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), who are inviting proposals

for the stadium’s use after the Games. East is not getting carried

away with the prospect just yet, however. He told Sky Sports News:

“It is purely a feasibility study at this stage as far as cricket’s

concerned. We’re delighted to be working with Newham to see whether

cricket actually can take place in there. “Obviously there are some

reasonably substantive issues concerning the pitch, what pitch you

would play on, and that’s going to be part of the investigation

that we work on. “It’s very, very early days. We’ve got to go

through all of those operational, logistical exercises to see

whether this is actually a goer. “We may go through this exercise

and work out cricket can’t be played in there but we’re going to

explore it with them and it’s a very exciting opportunity if it is

feasible.” Hammers vice-chairman Karren Brady said: “It’s about

realising the full potential of the Olympic Park. “If achievable it

is the ideal answer for those who, rightly, demand a sustainable

legacy from the 2012 Games and not a white elephant.” Joe

Duckworth, chief executive of Newham Council, said: “The last thing

anyone wants is for the Olympic Stadium to lay idle. “We were

concerned about this when London successfully won the bid to host

the Games. The only realistic solution is to make it work for a

range of sports and community uses.”