Glamorgan chief Hugh Morris set for big game bids

By Nick WebbBBC Wales Sport
Hugh Morris
Glamorgan chief Hugh Morris has helped bring high-profile games to Cardiff such as the Champions Trophy

Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris says the county is facing a "big six months" off the field as he bids for future high-profile games in Cardiff.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is due to allocate international fixtures from 2020 to 2024.

The host grounds for the city-based franchise T20 event starting in 2020 are also due to be decided.

"It's a continual process, the lobbying, it's a big six months coming up," Morris told BBC Wales Sport.

The club also has to find a replacement for retiring batsman Jacques Rudolph.

Long-term goals

The hosting of international cricket has been one of the key factors in determining Glamorgan's financial health since the redevelopment of the SSE Swalec Stadium in time for the Ashes Test of 2009.

The club has staged a second England-Australia Test as well as two Champions Trophy tournaments, but lost a seven-figure sum when an early season England v Sri Lanka Test in 2011 was badly affected by the weather.

"At the end of this season, all counties that will be hoping to host international matches between the years 2020 and 2024 will be submitting bids to the ECB for that period of time," explained Morris.

"Also in parallel there'll be a process where the eight new city-based franchise teams are likely to be announced, probably early in 2018, and we'll be working hard to make sure we've got the best possible international programme and a city-based T20 team here in Cardiff for the people of Wales to enjoy."

Rudolph replacement

With Jacques Rudolph retiring from professional cricket after four years as Glamorgan's main overseas player - mostly as captain - his replacement is the key decision in Morris' playing agenda for 2018.

"Recruiting an overseas player to replace Jacques is top of the list, we're making some enquiries," he said.

"We're in the early stages of planning for next year and hopefully by the end of the summer we'll be in a position to tell everyone where we are."

The club will assess whether it needs to recruit another experienced batsman as a result of Colin Ingram's decision to give up Championship cricket and focus on his strengths in the limited-overs formats.

While many supporters are keen to see more Welsh talent in the first team, the situation is complicated by the fact that promising young batsman Kiran Carlson is likely to be unavailable because of university commitments early in the 2018 season.

"If the right quality of player were available, we would look but they would have to be better than what we have here" summed up Morris.

Short-term decisions

In the short-term, the county has to decide whether to draft in another import for the successful T20 Blast campaign, with David Miller set to join up with South Africa A after the Surrey match on Friday, 4 August.

Wicket-keeper/batsman Tom Cullen, who has spent three years with Cardiff MCCU, has been given a short-term contract as back-up for Chris Cooke for the remainder of the 2017 campaign.

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