Gloucestershire chief-executive Tom Richardson has declared ambitious plans to develop the shire into a international standard cricket club.
Richardson promised to work hard with incoming coach John Bracewell in order to revive the Glos' fortunes, leaving 'no stone unturned' - a bold statement from a man who has taken great flak from supporters for mismanagement that has seen a dramatic fall from grace since the glory days at the turn of the century.
"Our aim is to be winning trophy's by 2013," was the message, in which Richardson stated he wanted to develop an academy 'second-to-none' and produce a 'tough, hard-to-beat' team. His hope is Bracewell's second-coming will transform the under performing county and that retention of the shire's best players was crucial to the rebuilding.
Richardson insisted being successful at cricket remained the prime objective, as they look to develop Nevil Road: "Our aim is to have a ground we can all be proud of." A planning application will be submitted for the erection of a new media centre, conference and banqueting facilities and new covered seating.
Was the chief-executive reading this blog and the call from yours truly for ground development to generate further income away from cricket? But I retain reservations of whether Nevil Road is the best place to do it. Poor access, limited car parking and restricted room for expansion question whether investment into the county ground will yield sufficient increases in business. Is it worth building a state-of-the-art facility in the middle of residential north Bristol?
Hopefully Richardson's intended consultation before any work is undertook will go ahead. A feasibility study into a move away from Nevil Road would be a useful exercise as a facility "to stage international cricket in the future and boast the kind of facilities which attract top players," is sought.
However, with £825,000 committed to the new outfield drainage system and dressing-room development, Richardson's heart appears to be set in BS7.
Interview by the Bristol Evening Post: www.thisisbristol.co.uk/gloucestershireccc