COUNTY cricket will return to Newport for the first time in 26 years when Glamorgan entertain Pakistan A at Spytty Park this summer.

Robert Croft's side will welcome the tourists, who will be warming up for a triangular series with England Lions and their Sri Lankan counterparts, to Wales on Friday, July 15.

It means that Newport will celebrate 25 years at Spytty in style, much to the delight of club coach Mike Knight.

"It's fantastic news – when our ground at Rodney Parade was sold we felt it was the death knell of first-class cricket in Newport," he said.

"We never thought it would return but a group of people have worked so hard to develop Spytty Park and this game, which will hopefully attract a big crowd and be a great occasion, is the reward for that.

"We have established ourselves as a top ground in the Premier League and in 2013 Sri Lanka trained here for the ICC Champions trophy. This is another step.

"A cricket museum is being opened at the ground in the summer and it was all based on Rodney Parade but now we will have a new first-class chapter."

South Wales Argus:

Glamorgan have a long history of playing cricket in the city, playing regularly in Newport following their merger with Monmouthshire in 1935 with Rodney Parade staging fixtures in the County Championship until 1965.

Owned by Lord Tredegar and boasting an impressive pavilion, the ground hosted 27 Championship and four List A matches as well as being regularly used by junior sides from the Gwent area.

Without doubt the most famous first-class match staged at Rodney Parade was in 1939 when Gloucestershire were Glamorgan's opponents.

Visiting captain Wally Hammond scored 302 before Emrys Davies replied with an unbeaten 287 – a score which remained the highest individual score for the county until 2000 when Steve James scored 309 not out at Colwyn Bay against Sussex.

Glamorgan's final visit to the Rodney Parade ground came on June 24, 1990 but the One-Day League match against Yorkshire was washed out without a ball being bowled.

Newport moved to Spytty Park 25 years ago and the new ground has regularly staged Glamorgan second XI matches since 1997 as well as Wales Minor County games.

It has also been used by Cardiff MCCU, the Glamorgan and Wales Academy plus Wales age-group teams while Sri Lanka were welcomed three years ago, using the facilities to practice ahead of Champions Trophy fixtures at the Swalec Stadium.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka's senior teams will visit Cardiff during 2016 as England return to the Welsh capital for two ODIs this year with the final game of each five-match series at the home of Glamorgan CCC.