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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Glamorgan praise 'historic' day
Sophia Gardens will be transformed into a Test venue
Sophia Gardens will be transformed into a Test venue
Glamorgan chairman Paul Russell was delighted after their Sophia Gardens ground was awarded Test match status.

The Welsh county's Cardiff ground will host a five-day match between England and Australia in 2009.

"This is an historic day for cricket in Wales with the award of an npower Ashes Test match," Russell said.

"The development of Sophia Gardens will transform the venue into a modern, world-class stadium and help Glamorgan enthuse a new generation of players."

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

However, the plans must still be approved by Cardiff City Council's planning committee, with the planning application being submitted on 10 May.

But Russell is confident that cricket's profile in south Wales can now be raised to rival the successes of rugby, football and golf after impressing the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"When the inspection team visited Glamorgan at the end of March they were bowled over by the sheer enthusiasm of so many people to bring Test cricket to Wales," Russell added.

"Without this 'Team Wales' approach bringing together the Welsh Assembly, Cardiff City Council, the Cardiff business community and the tourism industry we would not have been successful.

"We were also fortunate to be able to build on the world wide international reputation gained by Cardiff in hosting major world-class sporting events at the Millennium Stadium.

"The new redeveloped Sophia Gardens will allow Cardiff to become one of the few major cities in the world to host world-class events in the world's three major sports: cricket, football and rugby.

"It will build on the Welsh Assembly's exciting programme for the development of tourism through sport.

"That is exemplified by the Ryder Cup in 2010 and the determination of the City Council to enhance the reputation of Cardiff as a major sporting venue, building on the success of the Millennium Stadium.

"Glamorgan County Cricket Club has created a robust business plan and a vision which makes Glamorgan a leading force in cricket throughout England and Wales."


SEE ALSO
Cardiff to host Ashes Test match
20 Apr 06 |  Cricket
Glamorgan welcome England match
29 Sep 05 |  Glamorgan


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