NEWPORT Cricket Club are waiting to find out if they will suffer the financial hit from Glamorgan's two one-day games at Spytty Park being cancelled.

The Welsh county are scheduled to head to the city in the One-Day Cup to host Yorkshire on Friday, July 31 and Nottinghamshire on Sunday, August 2.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has led to the England and Wales Cricket Board pushing the start of the season back to July at the earliest.

The calendar has been hit hard and if the go-ahead is given for a return to action then white-ball cricket will be prioritised, although behind-closed-doors action would appear likely.

The situation is certain to affect Newport, who had been looking forward to building on last summer's successful hosting of Glamorgan's championship game against Gloucestershire.

Nonetheless, club stalwarts are keeping Spytty shipshape, with volunteers working in twos, to make sure they are ready if needed.

South Wales Argus:

"At the moment we have got the two games scheduled and haven't been told anything different," said chairman Mike Knight.

"It's going to be determined by the ECB and they will try and shoehorn a programme into what they have got left. That amount of time will determine the competitions that can go ahead.

"There are rumours about what might be cancelled but the only advice Glamorgan have given us is to not make any major plans and wait for what the ECB come up with.

"We've been able to work on the ground and it looks magnificent and ready to be played on – it's all dressed up with nowhere to go."

Cancellations would hit Newport in the pocket and the club, whose turnover of more than £15,000 means they are ineligible for an ECB grant, have already had to come to terms with unexpected inactivity.

"It would be a major blow for us because last year we did well from hosting games. We didn't get gate money but we were able to raise significant money from other areas," said Knight.

"If these two matches were cancelled then it would be a financial hit for us, that's for sure.

"We are not particularly reliant on the Glamorgan matches but because we don't have any winter sport on the ground – it's not used for rugby or football – then if we don't play cricket in the summer it will be 18 months without any income.

"We had the winter just gone and the summer programme builds up the money to get you through the next one.

"We haven't been able to get that and the way things are looking there won't be much of a season, which will leave us going through to the summer of 2021 without very much income at all.

"It will really hit home then. It's a struggle for everyone and it's a time for pull together because it's a dangerous time for the whole of cricket."

South Wales Argus:

ECB surveys flagged up the Newport scoreboard being inadequate and the club had paid a deposit on a new £13,500 system.

"The remainder of the money was going to be found from early-season membership and hosting matches," said Knight.

"All of a sudden we have got a bill to pay with no membership or match-hosting money and very little income coming in. The last thing we'd want now is for the two games to be cancelled anyway."

"It's a struggle for all clubs no matter what sport," continued Knight. "We've got an advantage in that we are a volunteer-run club so don't have major wages to pay, the club steward is the only person on the books.

"But we've got quite big overheads as a club with two grounds (side by side at Spytty). There are business rates, rent, insurance and operating costs."

Salt has been rubbed into the wound by the weather being glorious, with Newport's ground empty when it would have been hosting plenty of action.

"We've had a fantastic April and this is a busy month when we get revenue from teams wanting to use the ground," said Knight.

"We'd have had Glamorgan Seconds, Cardiff MCCU, Cardiff University would have had two or three, we'd have had a couple of touring games.

"A lot of the income generated in April is great to set you up for the start of the season but we haven't had any even though the weather has been great.

"Normally we schedule four friendlies on Saturdays in April before the league starts and if we play two of them then we've done well. This year we'd have played all four.

"Now we'll probably get the go ahead to play cricket and it will pour down with rain!"