Hampshire to reapply for Test ground status

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Hampshire county cricket club is to apply for Test ground status once again in a bid to boost revenue.

Disappointed by the England Cricket Board decision to award a 2009 Ashes Test to Cardiff rather than Southampton, Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove will again apply to the ECB to stage the one of the sport's biggest matches.

''The ECB has recognised a significant improvement in our pitches and I am hoping now to gain Test match status in order to qualify for an allocation for the 2010 season,'' Bransgrove told today's Times newspaper.

''But I cannot go on spending like this without the support of more international cricket.'' Chief benefactor Bransgrove saved the club from liquidation after it moved from the old County Ground premises to the new Rose Bowl in 2001.

The British newspaper said Bransgrove is now consulting his lawyers and advisers over the ECB's decision not to accredit the Rose Bowl as a Test match ground.

''I still believe the process for allocation and accreditation for international cricket is fundamentally flawed and unfair,'' he was quoted as saying. ''I am confident, however, that (ECB chairman) David Morgan will put this matter right.'' Hampshire moved to the new Rose Bowl in 2001 after leaving the County Ground which had been their home since 1885.

One reason for building the new Rose Bowl ground had been to attract international cricket to the south coast of England.

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