ECB set to splash £30m on drainage and floodlighting across county grounds

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The Independent Online

The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced a £30m investment package which will eventually see floodlighting and state-of-the-art drainage systems installed at all county grounds.

Funded primarily by increases in broadcasting revenue, sponsorship and gate receipts over recent years, it is the biggest cash injection ever into the English game. Of the total sum, £9m will be earmarked for floodlighting at county grounds, £6m will go towards drainage at international venues and eventually all counties, while there will also be massive investment in community clubs and coaching.

The ECB chairman, Giles Clarke, said: "Cricket in England and Wales has never seen this level of financial support, and it is entirely due to the strong relationships with all the game's partners of broadcasters, sponsors and spectators. Our resources are being targeted to build the continuing affection of the nation with its summer sport, and to give people of all ages and walks of life the chance to play and watch in the best surroundings."

Elsewhere, John Emburey has resigned as Director of Cricket at Middlesex in order to further his coaching career.

The Gloucestershire head coach, Mark Alleyne, is leaving after 22 years with the county. "I would like to thank Mark for his massive contribution," the Gloucestershire chairman, John Light, said. Alleyne's contract was due to end in September but the 38-year-old will leave this month.