London: Renowned former Test umpire Dickie Bird is personally funding the construction of a new balcony at Headingley, English county champions Yorkshire revealed on Tuesday.
Bird, the Yorkshire president, wants players to be able to watch matches in the open air, rather than from behind glass as they currently do in Headingley`s Carnegie Pavilion.
Work to erect a new balcony in front of the dressing rooms is due to begin soon and is expected to be finished in time for Yorkshire`s Division One match at home to Warwickshire next month.
"These lads have given me so much pleasure over the past 12 months with their magnificent performances in the championship, and I wanted to reward them for their efforts," Bird told the Yorkshire website.
"I want to invest in the team and give something back. When Martyn (Moxon, director of cricket) and Mark (Arthur, chief executive) said that the players need to have their own external balcony, located directly behind the bowler`s arm, I had no hesitation in making it happen."
Bird, now 81, stood in 66 Test matches and 69 one-day internationals, including three World Cup finals, before retiring in 1998.