Over 2,000 fans have tickets cancelled for Emirates Old Trafford fixtures at last minute
Lancashire have “apologised unreservedly” after a shortage of stewards forced them to reduce the number of spectators allowed at Thursday’s T20 double-header at Emirates Old Trafford at short notice.
The club say the third-party company which supplies their “safety stewards” notified them on Wednesday that they were unable to honour their commitment. As a result, Trafford Council were uncomfortable with the original capacity agreed for the game (which was 4,500) and insisted upon reducing it (to 2,292).
With Lancashire deciding to prioritise members, they were obliged to contact all other ticket holders and cancel their tickets. They have been promised a refund “as soon as possible” as well as two free tickets to other matches. Spectators will have a choice of Hundred, Blast or One-Day Cup games. Lancashire have also promised to “review” their “external stewarding provision”.
Lancashire’s women’s team took on Ireland in the first fixture of the day, with Lancashire’s men’s team playing Worcestershire under lights in the evening.
“Lancashire was hugely disappointed and frustrated to have had to reduce the capacity of today’s T20 double header, particularly at such short notice,” a Lancashire spokesperson said in a statement.
“After extensive collaboration with Trafford Council on Wednesday evening, there was a concern around the capability of our external stewarding provider with regards to the number of qualified stewards that were available for the fixture
“Unfortunately, as a result of this, the capacity had to be further reduced for today’s fixtures. As a consequence, we are undertaking an immediate review of our external stewarding provision.
“Lancashire Cricket, as a members’ club, made the decision to prioritise members’ tickets.
“We apologise unreservedly to those supporters that have had tickets cancelled. This is not a decision that was taken lightly but the safety and security of our supporters remains our number one priority.”
Lancashire have also emailed members to apologise for, among other things, the difficulty – and cost – of attempting to contact the club by phone, cancelled tickets for the T20 match against Durham for reasons unrelated to stewarding, and difficulties for disabled spectators at Old Trafford.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo