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Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 17:25 UK

Warne slams Cardiff Ashes debut

Shane Warne lifts the Ashes trophy in 2007
Aussie bowling legend Shane Warne lifts the Ashes trophy in 2007

Australia cricketing legend Shane Warne says the decision to stage the first Ashes Test in Cardiff is a "disgrace".

The 39-year-old feels the opening match should be held at Lord's, as it was in the 2005 series, which England won 2-1.

Cardiff's Swalec Stadium is on the Test schedule in place of Old Trafford and was chosen as the venue for the first 2009 Ashes Test starting on 8 July.

"How Cardiff get the first Test match in the Ashes is just a disgrace," Warne told Sky Sports.

"I don't know how they get that, I really couldn't believe that. The Lord's Test match should always be number one.

"The buzz around Lord's [in 2005] was amazing. The lead-up to the Ashes series was phenomenal."

Australia won that first Test at Lord's in 2005 before eventually losing the series 2-1.


But the England team requested that this year's series starts at a different venue because Lord's spurs on the tourists.

"It was one of those series that was great for the game of cricket," Warne said.

"It really captured everyone's imagination, it captured non-cricket lovers' imaginations in England.

"That is why I reckon the first Test match should always be at Lord's."

Preparations for the first Test at Glamorgan's £9.6m revamped Swalec Stadium have not gone entirely smoothly.

Swalec Stadium
Swalec Stadium is hosting the first Ashes Test in July

There was criticism of the ground when England played South Africa in the fifth one-day international on 3 September last year.

The match was washed out after just 13 minutes and three overs, and the ground staff were criticised for the way they covered the pitch when the rain arrived.

A further £3m was spent over the winter to improve the drainage and outfield which Glamorgan chairman Paul Russell admitted was "pathetic" and "hopeless".

Warne, who took 195 of his 708 Test wickets against England, retired at the end of the last Ashes in January 2007 which Australia won 5-0.

But Russell hit back saying: "I'm clearly disappointed.

"First of all Mr Warne has never visited the Swalec Stadium, he doesn't know the facilities that we have down here and what a splendid stadium it is.

"Secondly, whilst one doesn't question Mr Warne's right to make comments... one can't help but hear perhaps a hint of self-preservation and self interest in that the Australians have a superb record at Lord's.

"I think 1934 was the last time England beat them in a Test match there, while they have an appalling record in Cardiff including giving Bangladesh their first ever win in an one day international."

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see also
Russell happy with Test build-up
29 Apr 09 |  Glamorgan
County boast 3m outfield revamp
24 Apr 09 |  Glamorgan
Swalec will weather the worst - Russell
24 Apr 09 |  Glamorgan
New head groundsman for Glamorgan
16 Dec 08 |  Glamorgan
Cardiff set to host regular Tests
08 Dec 08 |  Glamorgan
Ashes tickets snapped up in hours
03 Nov 08 |  Glamorgan
Rain ends England whitewash hopes
03 Sep 08 |  England
Glamorgan praise 'historic' day
20 Apr 06 |  Glamorgan
Cardiff to host Ashes Test match
20 Apr 06 |  Cricket

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