Bransgrove hails latest Rose Bowl achievement

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove
Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove
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Rod Bransgrove believes the Rose Bowl has established itself among the leading international venues in the country as it prepares to host India.

England face the tourists today in the second game of the five-match one-day series.

For Hampshire, it is another opportunity to enhance the growing respect the Rose Bowl now commands on the international circuit.

Competition is inevitably fierce to host money-spinning top-level cricket in this country.

Yet today’s encounter marks the 16th international staged at the Rose Bowl since its creation in 2001.

That includes 13 one-dayers and two Twenty20s.

England have now played six one-dayers in the past seven years there.

In addition, the Hedge End venue staged a Test match for the first time in the county’s history when Sri Lanka visited back in June.

For Bransgrove, there is now a growing acceptance the Rose Bowl is one of the finest cricket grounds around.

Future England fixtures involving South Africa in 2012 and then New Zealand and Australia in 2013 suggests he isn’t mistaken. And with cricket’s eyes on Hampshire once more today, Bransgrove is adamant the venue will continue to win over admirers.

Hampshire’s chairman said: ‘We have come a long way now.

‘It’s entirely fair to say we are an established international venue.

‘And an admired one at that.

‘We have hosted enough games. To be honest, I can’t remember how many. There have been a lot.

‘India is the latest in a long line of fixtures we have staged – and there are still plenty more to come.

‘The Rose Bowl is now highly-regarded by people in the game.

‘It was extensively complemented by both captains during the recent Test match.

‘At the end of last year, an ECB customer survey named us as the best international venue.

‘As a ground there are brilliant views from wherever you sit.And we have been praised by players for our great net facilities, which cover a large area.

‘Of course, occasions like today are always influenced by the weather. There is nothing we can do about that.

‘The rain-affected Test against Sri Lanka was very disappointing, but we still coped with it very well.

‘Today will be a great day for the Rose Bowl and it continues to go from strength to strength.’

The Rose Bowl staged its first international match on July 10, 2003.

That was a one-dayer between Zimbabwe and South Africa in a NatWest Bank Series match.

The following year the ground hosted five ICC Champions Trophy matches. That consisted of a maiden appearance by England as they took on South Africa.

Since then, England’s presence at Hampshire’s home has become a regular occurrence.

That has included two Twenty20 internationals.

One of which was the memorable rout of Australia in June 2005.

The Australians were skittled out for just 79 as England stormed to a 100-run triumph.

Now India are back at the Rose Bowl for the first time since August 2007.

And today’s encounter should be another impressive landmark in the venue’s continued development.