T-20 cricket comes to Blackpool in 2017

Mitchell - Blackpool return?

Mitchell - Blackpool return?

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Cricket will be such a ‘Blast’ at Stanley Park next summer.

The home of Blackpool Cricket Club will break new ground by playing host to a Lancashire Lightning fixture in July in the NatWest T-20 Blast competition.

The featured game, yet to be decided, will be against either Leicestershire Foxes on July 9 or Derbyshire Falcons on July 16, both of the matches earmarked for a Sunday.

And the host club intend to put on a show to make a big day of it, with ancillary events to back up the big match.

The whole occasion could be a precursor to the return of four-day cricket to Blackpool.

David Cresswell, the Blackpool chairman, said: “It is fantastic for the town to get a match like this.

“We aim to make a day of it - we are looking at number of things to go with the main match, maybe a junior game or a ladies’ match and maybe some musical entertainment.

“We are expecting it to be a full house.

“With Lancashire bringing extra seating, we are looking at crowd in the region of the 5,000 mark.

“We definitely know we have a match in July - it’s just that we don’t know yet which of the two dates it will be.

“Apparently it depends on plans for a concert being planned for Old Trafford on one of those weekends.”

Blackpool are holding out hopes that the ground could host a Royal London Cup AND a four-day Championship match at the ground in 2018.

Cresswell explained: “A new wicket has been laid out at the ground and depending on how that works out in a trial we could get a county match as well in 2018.”

Blackpool are still waiting to hear whether Daryl Mitchell will return to the club to be their professional again in 2017.

Mitchell has been sent terms for a renewed deal - Blackpool are optimistic, but have yet to receive a firm answer.

*Former Blackpool groundsman Andy Mackay, now working at Sussex County Cricket Club, has received national recognition for his work at Hove. He was honoured at the English Cricket Board groundsman of the year awards held at the Brightside Ground in Bristol.

Mackay was commended for his work and received a discretionary award for a five-year improvement programme at the Hove ground.