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Essex: Women’s World Cup could make club a ‘major hub’ – Dan Feist

Image source, Rex Features

Caption, Chelmsford has been Essex’s official home ground since 1967 after hosting a County Championship match for the first time in 1926

Essex’s new chief executive Dan Feist believes being chosen to host the Women’s World Cup in 2026 will be crucial to further cementing the county as a major cricket hub.

Feist took over as general manager as part of a restructuring that will see CEO John Stephenson leave Chelmsford at the end of the season.

“Our aim is to be the number one cricket destination and there are a lot of potential metrics at the moment that suggest we are well placed to do that,” Feist told BBC Essex Sport.

“Obviously the number one thing we’ve been discussing with the city and county councils is making sure this is a centre for the future and how we can ensure Chelmsford can play cricket here for another century.

“A big part of the applications we’ll be making over the next few months will be our bid to host the 2026 Women’s World Cup here.

“As with any major event that comes to this country, it’s not just the venue that matters; it’s the participation, the opportunity, the enthusiasm, the economic sustainability and everything in terms of territory and access.”

Essex have been one of the most successful clubs of the 21st century. They were county champions in 2017 and 2019 – they also achieved another double by winning the T20 Blast five years ago – and have won a further four trophies.

“Given the population growth, the diversity of the region in many different areas, it is a vital hub for the country in terms of the ECB’s (England and Wales Cricket Board) ambition to be the most inclusive sport and we have many examples of how we can influence that,” he said.

“As the game grows and expectations around it increase, we need to make sure we make the most of these unique selling points for us, as a large proportion of the UK population lives in this region and there is a huge passion for the game.”