If anyone doubted the need for Warwickshire's redevelopment, the news from Bristol yesterday may have convinced them.
Gloucestershire have announced highly ambitious building plans of their own. Their compact Nevil Road ground is, they claim, to be expanded to hold 20,000 spectators with the aim of attracting regular international cricket as well as domestic finals.
That means that Gloucestershire will join Yorkshire, Lancashire, Durham, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Lord's, Surrey, Gla-morgan and Hampshire in the competitive bidding process for such matches. Some will, inevitably, be left empty-handed.
While ambition may be admirable there is a concern about the sustainability of the ground developments taking place across the country. There already appear to be too many counties not just vying to host international cricket but dependent upon it for their survival. Several clubs have taken on enormous debts. One or two high-profile casualties are distinctly possible.
Perhaps that explains the hesitation among some to support the 'special resolution' Warwickshire's executives have put forward. There is cynicism from some supporters towards the current regime at Edgbaston. Record financial losses and double relegation certainly haven't helped build up trust in the management and there is an understandable reluctance to allow them to take on substantial debts (at least £15 million) in the current economic climate.
The problem is, however, that no-one has yet voiced any better ideas. The status quo is not an option. Warwickshire needs international cricket and lots of it to sustain itself in its present location and state. Without the redevelopment they will fall further behind the competition in terms of facilities and capacity. It may go against the grain of some members to support the resolution of a regime whose competence they doubt and whose character they dis-like but if the special resolution is not passed there can be no progress. Members have Hobson's Choice.
Reacting to news of Bristol's plans, Warwickshire's chief executive, Colin Povey, stated: "Good luck to Gloucestershire. There are quite a few grounds interested in hosting one-day games and it does look as if there will be a growth of Twenty20 cricket. Whether they all intend to host games every season I doubt. It's probably more a case of sneaking the odd one-dayer."
Asked whether he thought all the developments were sustainable, however, Povey replied: "I'm not of the view that they are. I think there is a real risk that some people might over-extend themselves. I'm not sure that everyone appreciates the degree of risk involved."
But doesn't that risk apply to Edgbaston as much as anywhere else? "We have several significant advantages," Povey said. "We have experience of hosting big games and a good reputation. We already have facilities on site and, in terms of our hospitality and parking capabilities, we have soft revenue streams with which very few grounds can compare."
Members that require further convincing are encouraged to raise their concerns at the annual meeting next week before voting.
Meanwhile, Warwickshire are looking into a pre-season tour to the United Arab Emirates next season. The club have been approached by a group fronted by former Australian Test cricketer Rod Marsh with a view to taking part in a tournament in Dubai's Sports City alongside Worcestershire and several other counties. The promise to replicate English pitches is a huge attraction, though how that can be achieved remains a doubt.
For this season, Warwickshire's players will have to content themselves with a few days of army training. Players will be dropped off in the middle of the night and required to navigate their way back to base before they are captured by the army: "It'll be like hide-and-seek with guns," as Ashley Giles put it.