AFTER plenty of sleepless nights and with the to-do lists complete, Newport Cricket Club will be able to relax and enjoy the emotional occasion at 11am when the first ball is bowled at Spytty Park.

County Championship cricket returns to the city over the next four days with Glamorgan hosting Gloucestershire in Division Two.

The last time, a rain-affected match against Warwickshire, was at Rodney Parade in May 1965 but now Newport welcome Matthew Maynard's side to their ground at the International Sports Village, their home since 1992.

Glamorgan hosted Pakistan A at Spytty three years ago while the club have regularly staged second team and Wales Minor County fixtures.

However, the award of a Championship game – because Sophia Gardens is gearing up for the World Cup – led to a mammoth effort by club officials and volunteers.

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Chairman Mike Knight said: "There is light at the end of the tunnel now! The planning and organisation has all been done, there are just a few final details and hopefully the match days will be the easiest time of the last six months with the weather forecast that we've got.

"There have been some sleepless nights and a few issues sent to try us. I've been waking up in the middle of the night and thinking of jobs that I have to do, putting them on the phone, but the list has gradually got shorter."

Glamorgan went on the road in 2007 when Sophia Gardens was being renovated but Abergavenny's delight at getting a game ended in despair.

Not a ball was bowled in the four-day clash with Leicestershire at Avenue Road because of torrential rain, a fate that Newport thankfully won't share.

"The forecast is for four days of sunshine so hopefully there won't be too many jobs to do during the match, taking the covers on and off and getting rid of water," said Knight.

""The club have booked all of the guys who have been the main helpers into hospitality and it will be nice to sit back and just watch a bit of the cricket.

"The weather forecast was the answer to all of our prayers after having terrible rain last week, with the ground under cover for two days, but now we look set for four days of good cricket and hopefully a big crowd.

"It is emotional because the main guys that have done the work in the build-up were at Rodney Parade, it was those people that made the commitment to keep cricket going in Newport.

"That was our only target at the time – we were in a complete mess and survival was all that we were looking to do.

"Thirty years on we have done that and now we are looking to keep moving forward and help the next generations of young cricketers in Newport.

"We are hoping there will be more games to come, we enjoy doing them and it great to see the Glamorgan guys looking at the facilities and seeing what a good job the club has done."

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Glamorgan head into the game after a block of One-Day Cup fixtures and have played just one Championship fixture so far in 2019.

That was a dull draw against Northamptonshire in Cardiff when the bat ruled and Knight is hopeful that there will be plenty of runs but also hope for the bowlers in Newport.

"The wickets that we have had here have been good for the last six or seven years," he said.

"We've regularly staged three and four-day matches with the seconds and the scores have always been high, so it ought to be the same this time.

"There is a little bit more pressure on us to get it right but I am sure it will be a good wicket with a contest between bat and ball.

"Hopefully it will go the full four days and everyone will have enjoyed seeing plenty of good cricket."

Tickets cost £15 for adults and £10 for students with under-17s getting free entry. A small stand has been installed but spectators are welcome to bring their own seats.

Parking costs £6 and is cash only with correct change requested.