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The Ashes: Glamorgan ecstatic, Hampshire ‘gutted’ as Tests in 2013 and 2015 handed out

Hampshire were left counting the cost of a failed bid to host an Ashes Test on Thursday, while in Cardiff officials were vowing to “repay the faith” shown in them by the England and Wales Cricket Board.


There was jubilation in Welsh cricket circles as Glamorgan were surprisingly given a financial lifeline by being awarded a match in 2015 Ashes despite owing the ECB a £2 million staging fee from a Test earlier this summer which will now be repaid in staggered instalments.

The reaction in Southampton was of disbelief as Hampshire were overlooked as an Ashes venue in 2013 and 2015, a decision which will force them to look again at the financing of their ambitious ground redevelopment.

“I think it is fair to say we are gutted really,” said Rod Bransgrove, who has bankrolled the club for a decade. “Obviously we will have to look at the numbers again. We felt reasonably assured about getting an Ashes Test and could not have done any more.”

Bransgrove admitted he had no reason to think his at-times tense relationship with Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, had any impact on the decision and insisted the club will survive. “The Rose Bowl will move on. We have to get our heads around the decision and understand where it is we have gone wrong as it is not immediately apparent to me,” he said. “The last time we went through this process two years ago we came out on top on marked scorecards [the ECB’s grading system] and the only market research the board have done since then put us top as well. We had grounds for optimism and they have proved inappropriate.”

An ECB board meeting at Lord’s in the morning unanimously accepted the recommendations of the major match group committee, chaired by Lord Morris.

Grounds were invited to bid for packages of matches costing between £12 million and £200,000. Lord’s won the platinum deal which includes two Tests per year but the real fight was over the next level of allocation featuring remaining Ashes Tests. Trent Bridge was the major winner, being awarded Ashes Tests in 2013 and 2015, while Lancashire capped a big week in their history by following their County Championship triumph with a return to the Ashes rota in two years’ time.

There was disappointment at Edgbaston, where officials hoped their enlarged capacity, which means the ground seats around 9,000 more than Trent Bridge, and new grandstand would earn it two Ashes Tests. Instead they have one match in 2015. Surrey has an existing long-term staging agreement with the ECB and was not required to bid for Ashes Tests, although they have bought a package including a World Test championship semi-final in 2013. Yorkshire could not afford an Ashes Test but have a contract with the ECB guaranteeing other Test cricket between 2012-2019.

The MMG based its decision around three criteria – the ability to handle the logistics of a large crowd, the cricket operations and legacy to the local community. “Some people might have bid above expectation but if they got what they genuinely wanted they will not be disappointed,” said Morris. “One of the things we are saying to the grounds is return to your community, rebuild and reconnect because cricket is more than a game.”

Glamorgan successfully proved the impact an Ashes Test has had on cricket in Wales and that appears to have won them a reprieve, although the ECB will carry out due financial diligence on each county.

“Prior to the award of the Ashes Test, cricket was stagnating in Wales,” said Alan Hamer, Glamorgan chief executive. “It has been noticeable in the past few years that there has been significant increase in recreational cricket in terms of players and coaches.

“Thanks to this award of the Ashes Test, Cricket Wales will be able to implement exciting developments. The aim is to double the number of teams in Wales to 2000 by 2020. Much has been made of the Sri Lanka Test. We have already been punished. We lost a West Indies Test next year. On other occasions we have delivered and this is recognition of that.”

Just 922 spectators turned up in Cardiff on a thrilling final day of England’s Test against Sri Lanka in May and Glamorgan face scepticism over their ability to make the longest form of the game work in Wales.

“Cardiff should not be hosting an Ashes Test,” said Michael Vaughan, the former England captain. “Too many better grounds are missing out.”

The ECB described the bid process as the most comprehensive in its history, with counties using external advisers to help with bid documents which in Nottinghamshire’s case ran to 250 pages.

Under pressure from the counties, the ECB scrapped its blind auction for major matches but will still receive more than £20 million in staging fees, money which will help pay for grass-roots initiatives.


Trent Bridge Awarded two Ashes Tests. Put forward a comprehensive bid and is now on a par with Lord’s and Oval as a Test venue.

Cardiff Expected to miss out due to recent problems and financial future now looks more assured.

Old Trafford In 2013 will host first Ashes Test since 2005, a vital boost as ground is redeveloped.


Rose Bowl Future now looks set to be as a one-day venue.

Edgbaston Hoped to win package which went to Trent Bridge.

Bristol Bid for ODIs but was only ground not to be awarded anything.

England international fixtures in full

The Ashes

2013: Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Old Trafford, The Oval, Chester-le-Street.
2015: Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Cardiff, Edgbaston, The Oval.

Test series

2012 v West Indies: Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston.
2012 v South Africa: Lord’s, The Oval, Headingley.
2013 v New Zealand: Cardiff, Headingley.
2014 v Sri Lanka: Lord’s, Headingley.
2014 v India: Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Old Trafford, The Oval, The Rose Bowl.
2015 v New Zealand: Lord’s, Headingley.
2016 v Pakistan: Lord’s, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, The Oval.
2016 v Sri Lanka: Lord’s, Chester-le-Street, Headingley.

One-day internationals

2012 v Australia: Lord’s, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, The Oval, Chester-le-Street.
2012 v South Africa: Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Cardiff, The Oval, The Rose Bowl.
2012 v West Indies: The Oval, The Rose Bowl, Headingley.
2013 v Australia: Old Trafford, Cardiff, Edgbaston, The Rose Bowl, Headingley.
2013 v New Zealand: Lord’s, Trent Bridge, The Oval, The Rose Bowl, Bristol.
2014 v Sri Lanka: Lord’s, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, The Oval, Chester-le-Street.
2014 v India: Trent Bridge, Cardiff, Edgbaston, Bristol, Headingley.
2015 v Australia: Lord’s, Old Trafford, Chester-le-Street, The Rose Bowl, Headingley.
2015 v New Zealand: Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, The Oval, Chester-le-Street, The Rose Bowl.
2016 v Pakistan: Lord’s, Trent Bridge, Cardiff, The Rose Bowl, Headingley.
2016 v Sri Lanka: Trent Bridge, Cardiff, Edgbaston, The Oval, Bristol.

T20 internationals

2012 v South Africa: Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Chester-le-Street.
2012 v West Indies: Trent Bridge.
2013 v Australia: Durham, The Rose Bowl.
2014 v Sri Lanka: The Oval.
2014 v India: Chester-le-Street.
2015 v Australia: Cardiff.
2015 v New Zealand: Old Trafford.
2016 v Pakistan: Old Trafford.
2016 v Sri Lanka: The Rose Bowl.

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