Worcestershire’s Match Day tickets for the eagerly awaited 2018 season will officially go on sale today (Friday) at 12 noon – and will offer even greater value for money than last summer.
Current members and newcomers have had the opportunity to snap up Early Bird memberships with significant savings for the past four months up until the end of January.
But now the attention switches to exciting offers available for Match Day tickets.
The County have frozen prices for the Specsavers County Championship despite the added attraction of Division One cricket and some mouth-watering fixtures.
The first Championship action at Blackfinch New Road from April 27-30 will be a battle of the two sides promoted from Division Two last summer with Joe Leach’s side taking on Nottinghamshire.
Worcestershire will be looking to repeat the form which earned them a vital win at Trent Bridge in the finale to 2017 which helped enabled them to overtake Nottinghamshire and be crowned champions.
Then next up in the Championship at Blackfinch New Road after that will be the visit of Division One champions Essex.
They have shown what is possible for any county in taking the title in their first season after being promoted – and new Worcestershire Head Coach Kevin Sharp and the players are aiming high this summer rather than targeting mere survival.
With Lancashire, Somerset, Yorkshire, Hampshire and Surrey also set to visit Blackfinch New Road, it is a fixture list to saviour.
Prices will also remain the same for the Royal London One-Day Cup in which Worcestershire Rapids topped the North Group in superb fashion during 2017.
They won six of their eight group games in impressive fashion with a brand of exciting cricket that delighted those watching.
The performances of the Rapids sealed a first home semi-final since the competition was re-branded.
The players are determined that their showing in the One-Day Cup was not a one-off and will be striving to try and go one better and reach a Lord’s final in 2018.
The Rapids open their North Group campaign against visiting Derbyshire Falcons on May 19 and then next up at home will be Lancashire Lightning.
Leach and Co will be looking to gain revenge against the Lightning for the only defeat they suffered in the group stages last summer and the visit of Lancashire always gaurantees a bumper crowd.
Worcestershire CCC Managing Director Jon Graham said: “We have decided to take a little bit of a different approach this year with when we officially go on sale with Match Day tickets.
“Historically we’ve gone on sale when the fixtures have been published.
“But the membership of the club is really vital for what we are about and, with gaining promotion to Division One in the Championship, we wanted to give the Early Bird period from October until the end of January its own time and its own space
“All of our members are the lifeblood of the club and we wanted to re-engage with some of the members who maybe haven’t been at New Road for a few years and give them the opportunity to take up the membership at the discounted rates.
“People could see the fixtures and if they felt it was beneficial to them to have a membership rather than buy multiple tickets, than they’ve had four months to make the decision.
“Also the reality is, as far as the Match Day ticket offering is concerned, cricket is not necessarily in the front of people’s minds during the winter months when there are other sports like football and rugby which take centre stage.
“Now, as we go into February, people will start to think about cricket a little bit more and there will be a launch date for Match Day tickets which will go on sale for all of the games – Championship, One-Day Cup, they all go on sale.
“We can give it the focus that it warrants. We are just trying to apply a bit more logic so things don’t get lost in the fog in such a busy environment.”
Graham, a lifelong Worcestershire supporter, added: “It’s not just about T20 cricket this year because we’ve now got Division One status back in the Championship and some absolutely amazing games at New Road.
“But there will not be any increases for Championship cricket and the 50 over prices will be exactly the same as last year.