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Colchester Cricket Festival is safe
9:06am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Sport
THE Colchester Cricket Festival is still a “very important” part of Essex Cricket Club’s calendar, according to chief executive Derek Bowden.
About 2,500 fans flocked to a sun-kissed Castle Park yesterday, for the opening day of Essex’s County Championship division two clash with Northants.
The future of the annual festival has been brought into doubt over recent years, following the demise of Southend’s Garon Park event and talk of the county playing Twenty20 games at the Olympic Stadium.
However, Bowden said: “The Colchester Cricket Festival is very important to Essex Cricket Club.
“I think it’s important we get out on the road.
“There’s been a lot of talk around the Olympic Stadium and other areas.
“But I think it’s important that we venture out from Chelmsford now and again.
“We certainly value the Colchester Festival and you can tell how popular it is when 2,500 turnout on day one.
“The crowd was absolutely brilliant and the weather’s been kind - it was my first time at Castle Park and it’s a beautiful setting.”
Essex went into their division two meeting with Northants in Colchester needing a win to boost their promotion hopes.
Paul Grayson’s side are still striving for honours on two fronts this season, despite the disappointment of their semi-final defeat at Twenty20 Finals Day at Edgbaston, last weekend.
“Promotion would be fantastic,” said Bowden, who succeeded David East in the role of chief executive at the County Ground in April.
“We want to have a push for promotion.
“That’s one of the reasons why we’ve brought Monty in, along with Gautam Gambhir on the batting kind of things.
“We want to have a push, as we do with the YB40.
“It was great to get to the Twenty20 Finals, although the best team won by a country mile.”