|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Games||Mobile|
April 11, 2008
"This is a truly historic day for The Rose Bowl and Hampshire Cricket," said the chairman, Rod Bransgrove. "Staff, players, members, supporters, commercial partners, in fact anyone with an association with this fantastic ground can feel a huge sense of pride in what has been achieved."
The Rose Bowl has been fighting for Test recognition for the past four years, and in 2006 it suffered a major setback when Cardiff's Sophia Gardens jumped the queue to land a prestigious Ashes Test for next summer. There was a feeling that the ground was hamstrung by a lack of direct transport links, not least during the Champions Trophy in 2004, but Bransgrove believes that a corner has been turned.
"This is the culmination of an enormous amount of hard work and dedication and yes, it is the fulfilment of a personal dream," he said. "It is important that this is not seen as 'mission accomplished' though, as we fully intend to be a permanent fixture on the Test-match calendar from 2011 onwards."
Bransgrove added: "This allocation of matches was hard-fought and demonstrates that with our new £45million development, turning the ground into the first ever model Test match ground, we are now one of the major sports and entertainment venues in the country. The allocation perfectly matches our proposed development timescale, due for completion in the summer of 2010 and fully tested, well before our historic first Test match in 2011."
The Rose Bowl will become the tenth Test venue in England and Wales, after the decision was reached by the independent Major Match Group, chaired by Lord Morris of Handsworth, and endorsed by the ECB Board which met at Lord's this week.
"We were presented with a more than 200 excellent and professional bids for the ECB major matches until the end of the 2011 season. It demonstrated to us the ever growing strength of international cricket in England and Wales.
"We were delighted to note the increasing quality and quantity of world-class facilities provided by our venues," said Lord Morris. "The MMG examined each and everyone against our balanced scorecard which specifically rewards grounds for the excellence of their facilities. We have nominated the venues that were best suited and most deserved to be awarded the major matches."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Two greats look back on 20 years of friendship that has included World Cup heartbreak, a world-record stand, and missing a wedding
Nepal's players recount their ongoing journey through the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE, and express what it means to have made it to the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh
They must respond to the Australian bowling threat adequately or the series will slip away from them fast
Mohammad Hafeez has fallen to Dale Steyn 15 times in all international matches; in the last 12 years, no bowler has dismissed a batsman more often
A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Johannesburg
Darren Sammy and Brendon McCullum have both had moments to savour as captains at international level but the pair begin this contest with major questions hanging over them
In all the talk of Bombay's credentials as a historical stronghold of Indian cricket, a region to the north gets overlooked