June 12, 2011

English cricket

Rose Bowl to make its Test debut

Akhila Ranganna

It is praiseworthy to create something out of nothing - in the Rose Bowl’s case, to make the 10th Test ground in England and Wales out of what was a hillside farm, writes Scyld Berry in the Sunday Telegraph. Where cattle grazed 15 years ago, Chris Tremlett will at fine-leg when the third Test against Sri Lanka starts on Thursday.

At the same time, however, English cricket will move another step away from our inner cities, on a course which will take it - unless arrested - from being an urban to a suburban sport. While the cars drive into the Rose Bowl through the only entrance (mercifully, there is now a second exit), youngsters in Leeds will be less interested in cricket than they would have been if there had been a Test this year at Headingley.

Whatever happens on the pitch at the Rose Bowl this week it is a something of a triumph for Rod Bransgrove, the chairman and chief executive of Hampshire CCC, that a Test match is taking place there at all writes Vic Marks in the Observer.

So this Test match should be a celebration, although this was not reflected by the mundane but useful content of the latest email to emanate from Hampshire CCC, which reads "Transport Options Increased for England's Rose Bowl Test". The Rose Bowl has always been a bit of a bottleneck and in one sense those at the club will be hoping that this issue resurfaces this week. At least a transport problem will mean that there are plenty of people in attendance.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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