SOMERSET Chief Executive Lee Cooper has explained why the club did not apply to host any England internationals between 2020 and 2024.

In a club statement released “in order to quell a great deal of speculation and rumour” following last week’s ECB Major Match Allocation, Cooper said the club were unwilling to build up debt in obtaining the 15,000 seats required to host England matches.

READ MORE: Taunton misses out on hosting new T20 tournament

He said: “When we were awarded the England v South Africa IT20 for 2017 it was made quite clear to us that we would not be eligible to apply for further fixtures in this vein until we met the minimum criteria, which is 15,000 seats.

“As a club we do not have the appetite to take on the debt that achieving a capacity of 15,000 would incur and consequently we did not apply for this latest round of fixtures.

“What we would rather do is make Taunton the very best County Ground in the country with a capacity of up to 12,000 spectators.

“Having said that, we will be actively lobbying for high profile matches to be held here where possible and we do expect to host some smaller international fixtures that have yet to be scheduled.”

The statement does not specifically mention the new T20 tournament, for which fans in this region will find their nearest ground in Cardiff.