Hampshire's Rose Bowl to stage ODIs

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today announced that Hampshire's Rose Bowl is to be awarded One-Day International status with effect from 2004.

Following a decision taken at yesterday's Management Board meeting at Lord's, the Rose Bowl will be included in the ECB's next forward rota of One-Day International venue allocations.

The decision, which is subject to the continued successful development of the cricket facilities and the conclusion of appropriate staging agreements, is expected to see the ground host its first One-Day-International in 2004.

The Rose Bowl, built at a cost of more than 17 million pounds, hosted its inaugural First Class match in May following Hampshire's move from their previous headquarters at Northlands Road.

ECB Chief Executive Tim Lamb said: "This is an historic day for Hampshire and a richly deserved reward for all those within the club who have worked so hard to make the Rose Bowl such a splendid setting for cricket.

"Although the ground is not currently scheduled to host Test Matches, there is no reason why it should not be considered as a Test venue at some point in the future once we have had time to evaluate its performance in ODI cricket."

Hampshire CCC Chairman, Rod Bransgrove, said: "The decision is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of members, staff and officers of this club who are thoroughly deserving of this recognition.

"We remain committed to the provision of the very finest facilities available for the staging of international cricket and we now move forward to our forthcoming fund-raising activities with renewed vigour and confidence."