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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Cardiff to host Ashes Test match

Ashes cricket will come to Sophia Gardens in 2009
Ashes cricket will come to Sophia Gardens in 2009
Glamorgan's Sophia Gardens ground will host an Ashes Test match between England and Australia in 2009.

The Cardiff venue gained the honour ahead of the established Old Trafford and Durham's Riverside stadium.

However, the decision is reliant on an ambitious development of the site which must pass local council planning.

The Welsh county's Cardiff home will host a full England international for the first time this summer, a one-day match with Pakistan on 30 August.

The England and Wales Cricket Board met on Wednesday and decided to award the Cardiff ground "Category A Accredited Venue status".

"This award enables Cardiff to be awarded Test matches in future years on completion of a ground development plan," said an ECB statement.

As a Welshman I can't wait for 2009, meeting our oldest rivals Australia in an Ashes Test in Cardiff
Ashes star Simon Jones

The Brit Oval, Edgbaston, Headingley and Lord's are the other venues for the 2009 Ashes series.

Old Trafford played host to a thrilling drawn third Ashes Test in 2005, with thousands of fans shut out of the ground on the final day as tickets were sold out.

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

But a revamped Headingley will host its first Ashes Test since England's victory in 2001.

Hampshire's Rose Bowl will have to make do with hosting one-day and Twenty20 internationals for at least the next three years.

I have to consider whether this has become personal and if it is beneficial for Hampshire to have me around
Rod Bransgrove
Rose Bowl boss

ECB Major Match Group chairman Sir Bill Morris said: "We congratulate Cardiff on joining the list of Category A venues.

"We also express our gratitude for the support which the Glamorgan club has received from the Welsh Assembly and Cardiff City Council for their development plans."

Glamorgan chairman Paul Russell told BBC Wales on Tuesday that the club had applied to host the third Test between England and Australia in June or July 2009.

The plans to redevelop Sophia Gardens are opposed by some local residents and must go before a council planning decision.

The estimated cost is 7.4m, which will be raised through a mixture of council loans and private funding.

"The next important date is 10 May, when the planning application comes before Cardiff City Council's planning committee," Russell said.

Sophia Gardens has hosted five one-day internationals, beginning with Australia's loss to New Zealand during the 1999 World Cup.

Australia have played twice more in Cardiff, in NatWest Series matches against Pakistan in 2001 and Bangladesh in 2005 - which Bangladesh famously won.

England have played three times at the ground against a Wales XI but these matches - now dropped by the ECB - did not have international status.


England Test match venues 2007-09
(in alphabetical order by year)

2007
vs West Indies - Chester-le-Street, Headingley, Lord's, Old Trafford
vs India - Brit Oval, Lord's, Trent Bridge

2008
vs New Zealand - Lord's, Old Trafford and Trent Bridge
vs South Africa - Brit Oval, Edgbaston, Headingley, Lord's

2009
vs Zimbabwe - Lord's, TBC
vs Australia - Brit Oval, Cardiff, Edgbaston, Headingley, Lord's



WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England bowler Simon Jones



SEE ALSO
Wales' Ashes boost cheers Jones
20 Apr 06 |  Glamorgan
Glamorgan praise 'historic' day
20 Apr 06 |  Glamorgan
Glamorgan welcome England match
29 Sep 05 |  Glamorgan


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