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Hampshire lose out in Test allocation

The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced the venues at which England will play its Test matches between 2013 and 2016, and there have been some big losers. The worst affected is Hampshire, whose Rose Bowl ground will only host one Test in the next five years, against India, while, Cardiff has been given an Ashes Test in 2015.

It appears that the ECB have made the decision on the basis of Hampshire's lack of community involvement, while wanting to push the game in Wales. Hampshire are understandably distraught at the news, which basically means that their expensively refurbished ground has been rejected as a Test venue, and their chief executive Rod Bransgrove wasn't shy in expressing his displeasure.

'I am deeply shocked and I need time to digest it,' Bransgrove said. 'We came top of the balanced scorecard last time and the only marketing work that has been done since has been a fans' survey and we came top of that as well. How times change.

'We're at a critical time in developing the Rose Bowl. We're fundraising to build a hotel. We'll have to revisit all that, dust ourselves down and start thinking about 2017. In the meantime we can make sure that everybody knows we are the best and most efficient ground in the country.'

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