ESSEX Cricket bosses have confirmed the annual Colchester Cricket Festival will not go ahead next season.

The event, held at Castle Park, had been under threat after financial losses were made in the last few years.

Last year, the seat numbers were cut in a bid to reduce costs. 

This morning Essex club chairman, John Faragher, said the festival would be "suspended" in 2017.

It comes as the newly-released ECB fixture list gave Essex just one home County Championbship game in a three-month period. 

Mr Faragher said the club committee found it "simply not acceptable" to agree a plan which would see the County Ground not hosting a County game for that time.

He added: "This was a very difficult decision to make, the Colchester Festival week has always been an integral part of the season, with players and members always enjoying the experience of visiting Castle Park.

“However, the club’s committee decided that it was simply not acceptable to agree a fixture plan that would result in no Championship cricket at Chelmsford for nearly three months in the middle of the summer.

"Going forward, we will review this decision and depending on the fixtures, hope to see Colchester back in the schedule for 2018."