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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Hants boss angry at Cardiff move
Bransgrove and Hants players celebrate their C&G Trophy victory
Bransgrove (centre) is a major driving force behind the Rose Bowl
Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove has issued a veiled threat to quit the sport after the Rose Bowl ground was denied Test match status.

Millionaire Bransgrove underwrote much of the 25m Rose Bowl development.

"I have to consider whether this has become personal and if it is beneficial for Hampshire to have me around."

"I am trying to get over the shock but it will take a long time for the disappointment and perhaps some of the anger to go," he said.

"I am in a very difficult position now. I'll have to speak to our board and legal advisers.

Cardiff was given the chance to stage an Ashes match in 2009 even though the re-development of Sophia Gardens is still at the planning stage.

Obviously we are hugely disappointed at the outcome of the decision
David Harker
Durham chief executive

Since opening in 2001, the Rose Bowl has hosted seven one-day internationals and last year's Twenty20 international against Australia in front of 16,000 fans.

"The reason this has really taken us by surprise is that we could not have imagined that Cardiff would get accreditation and we would not," said Bransgrove.

"They have made us aware of the reasons which, in their view, are that there needs to be more evidence of improvement in the standard of pitches at the Rose Bowl."

The venue will continue to host limited overs matches, the ECB confirming that a one-day international against India for 2007 and the domestic Twenty20 finals day in 2008 will be staged at the ground.

Meanwhile, Durham's disappointment at not gaining an Ashes Test was tempered by a Test visit from West Indies in 2007.

"Obviously we are hugely disappointed at the outcome of the decision," said chief executive David Harker.

"We are committed to securing the backing that will enable us to develop the stadium as planned.

"We will look forward to welcoming the West Indies to the Riverside in 2007 and demonstrating our ability to successfully host major Test matches."

Lancashire, who staged one of the classic Ashes matches in 2005 when over 115,000 people attended and 10,000 were locked out on the final day, pledged to bounce back after Old Trafford was passed over for 2009.

The club is considering a move away from the ground, but have still been given Tests in 2007 and '08.

"It has to be emphasised that this was a decision based purely on commercial factors," said chief executive Jim Cumbes.

"We stretched ourselves to the limit to make the best possible bid we could, but Cardiff were into figures we couldn't possibly match.

"It is a big blow to Lancashire and to the North West, which is a hot-bed of cricket, but we did not have an Ashes Test in 2001 and we bounced back."

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