DURHAM chief executive Tim Bostock believes the arrival of the Cricket World Cup will bring up to £20m to the North-East economy.

The Emirates Riverside will become the final venue to host matches of the tournament this summer, beginning when South Africa take on Sri Lanka on Friday, June 28.

Sri Lanka then face West Indies three days later before England come to town only July 3 against New Zealand, which has already sold out.

Bostock has admitted that the additional income that could total over £1m – having already been guaranteed a substantial staging fee - will be vital for Durham moving forward as the club continue to rebuild after their financial difficulties two years ago resulted in their relegation to Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship.

The chief executive has insisted that Durham and Chester-le-Street, as well as the rest of the region, will reap the financial benefit of hosting the tournament over the space of six days.

He said: “There are two aspects. First for cricket in the North-East to demonstrate that we as a county are strategically important to the ECB and England cricket. Obviously having all these new fans coming through the gates will be great.

“We’re looking as though we’re going to have [Mark] Wood and [Ben] Stokes in the team, and we could almost claim Liam Plunkett as one of our own. Having three Durham players in the squad is fantastic and it creates a great amount of excitement.

“Financially it is critical to the club, and all of those clubs hosting World Cup games. It enables us to make long-term decisions around the club’s finances.

“Not to forget, but we anticipate during that period of World Cup games here – it’s not just the days that the games are on. The inward investment to this particular area, especially between Durham and Chester-le-Street, will be up to £15m to £20m.

“That should not be forgotten in terms of hosting international sport at this venue and attracting World Cup cricket. I know over the years there has been criticism about investment at the club, but if you look at those numbers I think we give back a lot more than we take.

“There are huge benefits for the whole of the region in the North_East, not just Durham cricket.”

Bostock is confident that Durham will be able to maintain the high standards set throughout the country in hosting the World Cup, although he is hopeful of a brighter forecast than Bristol, who saw two of their three matches wiped out by rain.

The windfall received by the club will not only benefit Durham off the field, but Bostock has revealed that plans are already in the works to use the resources to improve the fortunes of the team – particularly in the County Championship.

He added: “I don’t think we need to hammer home anything to the ECB. They’re well aware of us and awarded us the three games.

“We’ve got the guarantee of international cricket for the next five years, they’re very supportive of Durham. In terms of finances it’s a very important year for us. While we’ve pretty much sold the games out, we’re praying for good weather.

“Fingers crossed that the weather has turned for us as the tournament has been beset by poor weather.

“Off the field we have had some issues over the years, we are resolving those. Having this income from the World Cup is massively beneficial along with the addition boost from the Hundred next year.

“It does help us make up plans restructuring off the field financially, but it also helps us plan what our playing strength will be for next year.

“We’re well aware that we need to improve the team. We’ve definitely improved the team this year, it’s very young and inexperienced. I think we’re a very competitive white-ball team, but it’s obvious to all the loyal fans that we’re still inexperienced in red-ball cricket.

“So we’ll be looking to strengthen the team in that area.”