£29m: The price Edgbaston paid for landmark victory | india | Hindustan Times
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£29m: The price Edgbaston paid for landmark victory

india Updated: Aug 16, 2011 00:11 IST
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Warwickshire County Cricket Club, which hosted the England-India Test that ended on Saturday with the home side crowned the world's best, has incurred a 29 million pound (Rs 215 crore) debt to retain its international status but has no regrets about the "risk".

A new four-floor stand at the Edgbaston pavilion end that has increased capacity by 25% to 25,000 - making the ground the second-largest cricket venue in England behind Lord's - should ensure many more international games in Birmingham despite the financial burden.

The significant investment mirrors similar radical steps taken by other English grounds such as Headingley in Leeds and Old Trafford in Manchester, as they stake a lot of money on remaining as major match hosts.

"A number of us were in a difficult position three years ago when existing staging agreements were coming to an end and there was a real threat that we would not get any more Test matches unless we delivered top-class facilities," Warwickshire's chief executive Colin Povey said. "There was no certainty about our future revenues. The club could not have remained without being a Test venue. If you are an Edgbaston, Trent Bridge or Old Trafford you have an infrastructure that is way too big for domestic cricket and without international revenues we could not (have) remain (ed).

"We could not have retained a 20,000 seater stadium for championship cricket in front of 1,200 people."

Warwickshire started the development four years ago.

"The new stand is magnificent," England's Tim Bresnan said. "I would put it up there in the top three of world playing areas."

It is important that such feedback has been forthcoming given the level of the investment. The club borrowed £20m (Rs 149cr) from Birmingham City Council to be repaid over a 30-year period. Another £9 million (Rs 61 crore) was created by a land deal enabling development around the ground.