Tesco doesn't often get good publicity for planting yet another blue and white stripy flag in its Risk-style map of global conquest. Indeed, its arrival usually proves about as welcome with locals as a sudden outbreak of cholera.

But the omnipresent retailer was this week the toast of Old Trafford after its plan to build a new store near the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club swung wavering planning chiefs in favour of redeveloping the historic sports ground.

The news boosts Lancashire's chances of hanging on to international cricket, with Tests otherwise likely to disappear off to even more glamorous county venues such as Glamorgan and Durham.

A shiny new Tesco Extra would also mean big-boned former England talisman Sir Fredward Flintoff will never be more than five minutes away from grabbing a pasty or two when he's hobbling about for his sometime county on those bionic knees.

Rumours that Lord's is set to demolish the centuries-old MCC Museum in favour of an upmarket Chubby Grocer forecourt have yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, you wonder if Walmart might step in to help when Trafford's other famous ground is sold off.

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