Essex hope Olympic Stadium could host T20 games in 2018

Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Stadium hosted five matches at the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Essex hope to host T20 cricket matches in the Olympic Stadium in 2018, says chief executive Derek Bowden.

Essex have been in talks for a number of years regarding the stadium, home of football club West Ham from August.

"The objective is to play cricket there in 2018, probably play two or three home T20 games in a two-week period," Bowden told BBC Essex.

"There may also be an England women's or even men's game or some invitational games as well as recreational cricket."

He continued: "The idea that Newham Borough Council have, in particular, is that it's a festival of cricket from the grassroots up."

Essex first revealed a desire to play cricket at the Olympic Park back in 2010 and in March 2012 launched a failed to bid to become a tenant of the stadium.

Essex's Chelmsford ground is just 30 miles from Stratford, the east London home of the 2012 Olympics.

Bowden had previously said a deal had been agreed "in principle" for a two-week festival in the stadium from 2016, but is hopeful about a move in 2018, with a "practice" game possible in 2017.

"The next stage for us is for the groundstaff to review the practicalities of a drop in square in a semi-artificial pitch which we know can be done," he said.

"We need to work through the cost of doing that and put together a business plan with Newham and Vinci, the other part-owners of the Olympic Stadium.

"It will come down to money as these things always do but with a stadium that can hold 62,500 people, the prospect of having local competitive T20 derbies, England and maybe even overseas friendly competitions is very attractive commercially, I think."

Top Stories