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February 20, 2006
The five-year staging deal, if successful, would allow the club to host the West Indies for a Test in 2007, a one-dayer between England and South Africa in 2008 before culminating in a Test against Australia in 2009. And with the launch of an official website, signthebat.com, they are encouraging everyone in the region to back the bid by pledging their support.
"The long term aim of Durham has been to stage international cricket of the highest standard in the North East," Clive Leach, Durham's chairman said. "Last year the Ashes captured the imagination of the nation, not least here in the North East with Stephen Harmison and Paul's Collingwood involvement. It's our intention to bring one of the greatest sporting events to the Riverside.
"The bid to bring the Ashes to Chester le Street is about much more than a cricket match. It is about providing opportunities for young people to become involved in sport, allowing junior cricketers to dream of playing on the world stage in the their own back yard and giving the whole region an international platform to showcase what is great about the North East."
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