La Manga Club partners with Cricket Ireland and Cricket Scotland to create the first European Performance Centre

La Manga Club, 26th July 2016. La Manga Club has teamed up with Cricket Ireland and Cricket Scotland in a new long-term partnership to create a European Cricket Performance Centre at the world-famous Spanish resort – the first of its kind in Europe.

In a ground-breaking agreement, the top sports and leisure resort has signed a ten-year deal with the two national organisations to develop an exclusive warm-weather overseas training base in Murcia, south-east Spain. Designed to help prepare men’s and women’s teams for international cricket as well as assisting with the development of players and coaches, the first phase of the jointly-funded project is set to open in January 2017.

In a joint statement, Cricket Ireland and Cricket Scotland expressed their delight with the development and said: “This is the culmination of a long-term project to develop state-of-the-art training facilities on continental Europe. Rather than having to travel to the UAE or further afield to escape our long winters, our players at all levels now have the chance to train in a cost-effective way on world-class grass and artificial surfaces in a warm-weather southern European setting on a year-round basis. Both boards extend particular congratulations to Richard Holdsworth for his vision and dedication in working closely with the La Manga Club team over a period of 11 years to bring this important project to fruition.”

Under the terms of the partnership, Cricket Ireland and Cricket Scotland will have exclusive booking options for using the centre as a warm-weather training and playing base for its men’s and women’s national and provincial senior and youth teams.

Facilities are set to include six updated first-class grass pitches and two artificial wickets on two existing grounds, plus 18 grass and five artificial net lanes – all with 25-yard run-ups. In addition, specialist grass fielding, catching and wicket-keeping areas are also being created.

Work on the artificial pitches is due to be completed by January 2017, with the grass net and pitch areas in use by early spring 2018.

Chad Harpur, director of sports at La Manga Club, said: “This agreement will open up a whole new market for La Manga Club. The cricket facility will be the best in Europe and is something we are very proud to be part of. It has taken many years to get to this point and we’d like to thank everyone involved for believing in the project. This is the start of a new chapter in our history and we are all looking forward to it. As a top resort, it is very important that we keep on improving and investing in the future. This is a huge step forward and is further evidence that La Manga Club is still the best sporting resort in Europe.”

Regularly used for warm-weather training breaks by county and international teams as well as being a regular venue for ICC European tournaments, La Manga Club is widely regarded as the ‘home of cricket’ in Spain.

Boasting an average 300 days’ sun a year, the resort’s ideal Mediterranean climate makes it possible to train outdoors in the sunshine all-year round, and the cricket centre is a further illustration of La Manga Club’s commitment to providing both professional and amateur athletes with the perfect training experience.