Lancashire offer to stage Test cricket during crisis

LONDON (AFP) – The coronavirus has left the English cricket season in limbo but Lancashire were dealt a devastating personal blow when they lost their chairman, David Hodgkiss.

Just weeks later the Manchester-based county have returned record financial results – a fitting legacy for Hodgkiss, who died in late March at the age of 71 after contracting the virus.

And they have put themselves in the frame to host Tests during the English summer.

Lancashire, who chose not to follow other counties in furloughing players during the COVID-19 crisis, have announced their highest-ever annual turnover of GBP34 million.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) for the Red Rose county in 2019 were GBP7.6 million, a 10-fold increase since 2015 and a record for a first-class county.

“Excluding minority interests and one-off legacies it is absolutely a record,” CEO Daniel Gidney told AFP. “It’s a very proud day for the club.

“A hundred per cent it is David’s legacy. He was a mentor, a friend as well as a boss. With his construction background, without him the GBP60 million redevelopment (of the ground) would not have happened.

“The board was the driving force but he was the centre of that.

“For me a business problem to solve is like any other problem such as a recession but when you lose a friend it is an emotional kick in the gut.”