Warwickshire are relying on a revamped Champions Trophy in 2013 to help fill part of the huge black hole that has appeared in their finances as a result of missing out on lucrative Test matches that year and in 2014.
Having spent £32 million in building a new pavilion at Edgbaston and increasing the ground’s capacity to 25,000, Warwickshire were optimistic they would beat off competition from Midlands rivals Trent Bridge to stage Ashes Tests in 2013 and 2013.
Instead Trent Bridge were awarded Tests in both those years and Warwickshire succeeded in persuading the independent Major Match Group to allocate only a 2015 Ashes Test to Edgbaston.
Warwickshire also missed on a lucrative Test against India in 2014, leaving Edgbaston without any Test match cricket between the visit of the West Indies early next season and Australia’s arrival in 2015.
Edgbaston will stage some one-day internationals in that period but those matches do not generate anywhere near as much revenue as Test cricket.
Warwickshire are still calculating the financial implications of missing out on the Test match rota in 2013 and 2014 but it could cost them as much as £6 million.
Warwickshire were hoping to reduce their losses by staging a semi-final of the proposed ICC World Test Championship in 2013, possibly involving England.
However the International Cricket Council indicated today that their Test Championship may well be put back to 2017 with the 50-over Champions Trophy filling the gap in two years’ time and probably staged in England.
Warwickshire are already in negotiations with the England and Wales Cricket Board about staging as many as five matches in the Champions Trophy, which would increase the number of days of international cricket played at Edgbaston and help to ensure that they they have not built one of the biggest and most expensive white elephants in world cricket.
In the meantime Warwickshire will also be seeking an explanation from the ECB about where they went wrong in the revised bidding process in which international matches were allocated by the Major Match Group three weeks ago.
It is understood that Warwickshire’s glossy bid document scored poorly in comparison with Nottinghamshire’s which ran to 250 pages and focused on community and legacy programmes.