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Page last updated at 07:13 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 08:13 UK

Boycott slams Ashes 'bidding war'

Geoffrey Boycott
Boycott says venues should be chosen for "cricket reasons"

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott has criticised the "bidding war" which saw Cardiff win the right to host the first Ashes Test on Wednesday.

Glamorgan reportedly paid £3m to secure England's opening match against Australia, outbidding Old Trafford and Durham's Riverside stadium.

Boycott stressed he supports the idea of taking England Test matches to new venues "around the country".

But he added that, "a lot of us are miffed that it's about money".

Boycott, 68, who made made 108 Test match appearances for England, said: "I don't think anybody should begrudge Cardiff having a Test match.

If we're purely in it for financial gain - just greed - let's play them all at Lord's

Geoffrey Boycott

"I am of the opinion that the Test matches should go around the country so that the public has the opportunity of seeing their heroes playing for England, of seeing the national side and not having to travel too far.

"So I'm very much for Cardiff; I'm for Hampshire having one whatever so that you have regions.

"What isn't right is that the [England and Wales Cricket Board] sub-committee that decided on it did it for money.

"It was purely and simply that Wales or Glamorgan could bid more money."

Glamorgan received considerable support from the Welsh Assembly Government after the ECB invited bids from various grounds that wished to host an Ashes Test match this summer.

The decision to choose Sophia Garden's - a venue that had never staged a Test match - ahead of an established international ground like Old Trafford courted plenty of controversy, with former England captain Michael Atherton a particularly strong dissenting voice.

606: DEBATE

Glamorgan chairman, Paul Russell, said on Tuesday their offer "murdered" those from rival grounds in financial terms.

But Boycott believes the whole bidding process has set a worrying precedent which could be to the detriment of the game.

"If it's going to be a bidding war for purely money we might as well play all our Test matches in London because, as you know, dining out in London or seats for a concert or show in London cost a lot more money than they do in Wales or Yorkshire," Boycott said.

"So really the Test matches at the Oval and Lord's make a lot more money and if we're purely in it for financial gain - just greed - let's play them all at Lord's.

"Now that can't be right, can it? That means Yorkshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Wales, we all miss out."



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see also
England make solid start to Ashes
08 Jul 09 |  England
Strauss confident of Ashes glory
07 Jul 09 |  England
Australia delay naming Test team
07 Jul 09 |  Australia
Injured Lee to miss Ashes opener
06 Jul 09 |  Australia
Warne slams Cardiff Ashes debut
07 May 09 |  Cricket
Cardiff to host Ashes Test match
20 Apr 06 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England


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