Steelbacks follow Saints in switching to Milton Keynes

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NORTHAMPTON Saints play their Heineken Cup quarter final in Milton Keynes this Sunday, and now Northamptonshire County Cricket Club have also confirmed a fixture in the city for this summer.

The club’s Twenty/20 side, the Steelbacks, will take on Worcestershire at Campbell Park on Wednesday June 29, three years after top class cricket was last played there.

Northants begin their LV County Championship season against Surrey at The Brit Oval on Friday, but it’s the Friends Provident T20 competition that usually attracts the most attention in the cricket calendar and the club is hoping for a crowd in excess of 8,000 when they take on the Royals.

That game comes right in the middle of Steelbacks’ T20 schedule, and they will be hoping for better than when they last played at Campbell Park as Warwickshire won by nine wickets in June 2008. That was the second game of a Northants doubler-header in the city as they beat Gloucestershire by six wickets just a couple of days earlier in front of more than 6,000 fans.

Martin Lawrence, chairman of Northants Cricket, was at stadium:mk this afternoon as the club hosted an event launch to business partners ahead of their new season, including MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman who has pledged his club’s support to the Steelbacks.

Tickets for the Worcestershire game - starting at 5.30pm - are already on sale at £15 for adults and £5 for children, and any remaining will be available to buy on the day at £20 for adults and £5 for children.

Meanwhile Northampton Saints are preparing to continue their unbeaten Heineken Cup campaign when they make their stadium:mk bow against Ulster this Sunday.

Consecutive Aviva Premiership wins over Wasps and Sale have given the Saints some much needed momentum as they prepare to run out in front of a sell out crowd in their last eight tie.

Saints are favourites to win, and if they do their semi final against either Perpignan or Toulon will also be played at stadium:mk as they have been given home country advantage.