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Winning The Ashes
How teamwork saw Trent Bridge win a
competitive bid to host Ashes Tests in 2013
and 2015 - and the realisation that the hard
work starts now. By Derek Brewer.
When Chris Read lifted the LV= County
Championship trophy on that glorious
afternoon at Old Trafford in 2010, we were
reminded just how close the margin between
success and failure can be. Outstanding
teamwork was a contributing factor to the
success of the team in 2010 and that same
principle applies off the field.
When we began piecing together our bid
to host Ashes Test Matches at Trent Bridge
in 2013 and 2015, we knew that a myriad
of obstacles laid in our path, not least the
efforts of rival venues that had pictured the
same goal and devised their own strategies
to attain it.
We had much in our favour, not least
mature partnerships with our three local
authorities, namely Rushcliffe Borough
Council, Nottingham City Council and
Nottinghamshire County Council. The
moral support we received from local
authority leaders and their executive
colleagues was exceptional and when
Councillor Neil Clarke and Councillor
Kay Cutts announced the success of the
bid in the council chambers there was a
spontaneous round of applause.
The strength of the working relationship
between the club’s General Committee and
Management Team was also a key factor.
Throughout the process the Chairman,Vice
Chairman and their colleagues provided the
Management Team with huge support and
wise counsel and encouragement when the
going got tough.
The foundations of the club’s success can
be traced back to a number of factors.
The 20-year masterplan launched in the
early 1990s which has proved unerringly
accurate; Mark Arthur’s leadership of the
Radcliffe Road Redevelopment in 1998;
Lisa Pursehouse’s overhaul of the club’s
commercial operation and the club’s
decision in 2006 to put community work at
the very heart of our strategy.
Given that our bid would be considered
in comparison to those presented by rival
venues, there was no way of gauging our
chances of success at any point in the
process. We knew that we would be asked
to submit a bid document before travelling
to Lord’s to deliver a short presentation to
the Major Match Group (MMG) and the
content and substance of those interactions
would determine our fate.
The Oval and Headingley already held long-
term staging agreements whilst Durham
had secured a 2013 AshesTest in a previous
round of bidding. We would be competing
with Old Trafford, Edgbaston, The Rose
Bowl andThe Swalec Stadium.
The consequences of failure would have
been immense. Investments in our playing
squad, venue and, indeed, our entire
operation would have been significantly
reduced.We resolved that we must give the
process our utmost attention and invest
time and resources to presenting our case.
Our strategy was bold – we would bid for
Gold Package A, the most prestigious set of
matches available aside from the Platinum
Package destined for Lord’s.
TheWhole Game Process would provide an
opportunity for each venue to put forward
a case arguing the merits of their perceived
areas of strength without the need to attach
a cash bid as all of the packages were given
a fixed price.
We played to our strengths highlighting
areas where we perceived that we had a
competitive edge; our record of impressive
ticket sales, our reputation for operational
excellence, our illustrious history and our
ongoing commitment to our communities.
Conveying this through words and images
was a big challenge and we assembled a
small bid team to share the workload of
writing text, gathering statistics and images
and liaising with our design agency.
The content gathering was exhaustive. We
were steered by the invitation to tender
provided to us by the ECB - a list of criteria
against which our bid would be scored to
give a total that would then be used to rank
the merits of each venue.
We dedicated a significant amount of time
to the production of our document but the
bid had to present a triumph of substance
over style and the quality of the content was
down to the hard work that had preceded it.
To demonstrate our experience in delivering
major matches, we included a breakdown of
the game-by-game feedback we had received
from the ECB highlighting our successes