The Ageas Bowl has missed out as a 2023 Ashes venue – but will be one of eight hosts for the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new franchise Twenty20 competition.
Hampshire’s headquarters was touted as a likely double winner in the ECB’s announcement of its major match allocation for five years from 2020 to 2024.
It was duly confirmed as a host for the new domestic Twenty20 tournament set to begin in 2020, alongside Glamorgan’s SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff and the six long-established international grounds.
But there will not yet be an inaugural Ashes Test on the south coast, or indeed any Tests between 2020 and 2024 at a venue still only 17 seasons old.
There was also Ashes disappointment for Nottinghamshire as it was confirmed Trent Bridge will not host a Test between England and Australia in 2023 – as it has in the past two home series of 2013 and 2015.
Headingley, Edgbaston and Old Trafford will instead host the Ashes tourists in successive trips – having already been granted Tests in 2019 – as well as Lord’s and The Oval.
Edgbaston will also continue as the exclusive home of T20 Blast finals day, while a significant consolation for Trent Bridge will be that Nottingham becomes the annual venue for the domestic 50-over final from 2020.
Lord’s will, therefore, no longer be the scene of that showpiece, as it traditionally has been throughout the history of domestic one-day competitions.
The home of cricket will, however, retain its two Tests per summer alongside its London neighbour, The Oval, to complete the list of six venues that will host the premier international format over the five-year cycle.
For Twenty20 and one-day internationals, 10 grounds, will stage matches each summer, with the six Test grounds added to by the Ageas Bowl, Cardiff, Bristol and Durham’s Riverside.