Old Trafford shows the way with 'biosphere' Test cricket and shares the results

Fresh from hosting two of the three Test matches in the England-West Indies series, Lancashire Cricket and its world-class venue, Emirates Old Trafford, have launched an online learning tool designed to share the knowledge and best practice gained from hosting the first behind-closed-doors Test Matches with the wider events industry.

The Old Trafford-hosted Test matches were the first International cricket fixtures played since the Coronavirus pandemic.

That critical knowledge accumulated by the Old Trafford management and staff has been funnelled into ‘Safe in One Place’, a new initiative that highlights the measures required to host events, in line with current UK Government guidelines.

Lancashire Cricket Chief Executive, Daniel Gidney [pictured below], said: ‘The Safe in One Place campaign is all about sharing the knowledge and experience that we’ve gained turning Emirates Old Trafford into a bio-secure environment with the wider events industry. What we are doing at the moment with behind-closed-doors cricket, and working in conjunction with the ECB, is industry-leading and this has provided us with a blueprint to move forwards and understand what events will look like in the future. We are effectively currently the only large events venue in the country that is operating and have developed strong operational discipline.’

Daniel Gidney on Lancashire Cricket grounds

‘Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford are committed to doing all we can to help lead the way back for the industry. As a world-class venue that hosts many non-cricket events, we understand acutely just how hard the market has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and how vital it is to have clear guidance to enable the hosting of commercial events, which are the lifeblood of the industry.’

Current UK Government advice is that business events, conferences and exhibitions will be given the go-ahead to reopen on October 1. To assist with this, Emirates Old Trafford is today releasing its learnings from creating the bio-secure environment that enabled them, together with the England Wales Cricket Board, to safely host 300 people across the venue, including players, staff and media, on-site for behind-closed-doors Test cricket.

The key learnings and best practice is now available for download via the Emirates Old Trafford website.

The guidance includes the very latest practical information to ensure event organisers and venue operators in the UK understand how they can work and host business events and conferences, while keeping both guests and staff safe.

The ECB’s media team put together a highlights reel to recognise Stuart Broad’s 500 Test wickets, with the 500th being taken on the final day of the third Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford

The Emirates Old Trafford website and social media channels will also display a range of content over the coming days aimed at arming event professionals with the key insights and practical learnings. This includes behind-the-scenes venue footage, infographics, case studies and interviews featuring a host of staff members and stakeholders that played crucial roles in the rigorous risk assessments and re-writing of operational procedures that enabled the venue meet Government standards and host International cricket.

Lancashire cricket’s most famous son David Lloyd takes you on a tour of the exceptional hospitality available at Emirates Old Trafford

In a further step, Emirates Old Trafford will host a virtual roundtable with a panel of leading industry figures that is free for event professionals across the UK and beyond to join. The session will take place on Friday 7 August at 15:30 BST and feature representatives from Emirates Old Trafford, Hilton Hotels and Marketing Manchester, alongside the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

For more information, and to register your interest, please visit email

Gidney encouraged as many as possible in the event industry to participate: ‘We appreciate the responsibility that all venue owners and operators have in ensuring the safety of event attendees and hope that the information we are making available today, and in the coming weeks, will prove valuable as we all prepare to safely welcome guests back to our destinations. Manchester, and many other towns and cities across the UK, rely heavily on events to underpin their local economy and employment, the sooner the industry is able to restart the more jobs and business can be saved in our local communities.’

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Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
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