Ageas Bowl snubbed for Ashes but to host new T20 competition


Hampshire's Ageas Bowl has been widely tipped to be awarded a lucrative Test against Australia when the European Central Bank board announces venues for the 2023 series and inaugural Twenty20 franchise tournament. The threat of a withdrawal of funding for the project past year had led to concerns about the future of the ground as an global venue.

Test venues from 2020 Edgbaston, Headingley, The Oval, Lord's, Old Trafford and Trent Bridge (all grounds except Trent Bridge will host an Ashes Test in 2023).

Gloucestershire, Durham, Glamorgan and Hampshire will host England one-day internationals at their grounds between 2020 and 2024, with the latter two also set to stage T20 internationals.

Headingley, Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston are other obvious contenders to hold one of the three available 2023 Ashes Tests. With Trent Bridge becoming the home of the 50-over final and Edgbaston the home of T20 finals day, there is a move to a pleasing consistency and symmetry about the list.

The eight venues for the new competition are as widely expected.

Though the famous ground was already in line to host an Ashes encounter in 2019 exactly a decade after its last red ball clash between England and Australia, there were no guarantees about the 2023 series because of the emergence of new venues.

The statement added: 'Together, they provide a strong geographical spread, high capacity for attendance, quality experience and access for the widest audience'.

"It's right that there should be thorough, independent scrutiny of such a significant process and I would like to thank John Crowther, Karen Earl and Mick Hogan for their contributions, knowledge and expertise".

"With a five-year period of worldwide and domestic cricket in prospect, as well as our New Competition being developed, there was very strong interest in hosting these events and the overall standard of submissions was excellent".