Hampshire chief Rod Bransgrove keen to build on Ageas Bowl's World Cup success

Rod Bransgrove is determined to use the success of this year’s World Cup at the Ageas Bowl to ensure more international cricket is played at the venue.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 10:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 8:51 pm
A general view of play during the Cricket World Cup group match between England and West Indies at the Ageas Bowl Picture: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

More than 85,000 fans flocked to the home of Hampshire to watch the five games allocated to the south coast stadium.

England, India, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh and Afghanistan all played group matches at the venue, with the latter two bringing the curtain down on the Ageas Bowl’s participation in this year’s World Cup.

A further 12,000 spectators, meanwhile, attended the two warm-up games prior to the tournament.

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Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The Hampshire chairman is adamant the games enhanced the already impressive reputation of the facilities available.

Bransgrove has made no secret of his ambition to build on that standing and one day stage an Ashes Test match at the Ageas Bowl.

Until them, he has been thrilled by the cricket served up during the World Cup by some of the game's top players.

'The World Cup has been a massive success story for us,' said Bransgrove.

'All the games, apart from one, have run their course and have been exciting affairs played out on a very good wicket.

'We are thrilled with the way things have gone.

'It was an amazing, extraordinary atmosphere here for the India versus Afghanistan game.

'To go with that, it was fantastic game of cricket.

'I think the ground is very much unique.

'You must remember that it is the only cricket ground in the country built for purpose.

'When we have the semi-permanent stands in place it becomes a complete bowl.

'The sound is cacophonous, stays within and is amplified.

'We have had a lot of praise about the ground.

'India head coach Ravi Shastri and his boys interrupted an interview I was doing to say they felt it was the best cricket facility on the UK circuit.

'These are great words coming from the head coach of the India team.

'All the feedback we get from administrators and players is always very positive indeed.'

The Ageas Bowl staged it's first Test match in 2010 when England played host to Sri Lanka.

Since then two more tests have followed, both against India.

But Bransgrove wants to see more top-class international cricket held at the venue.

'We will keep on using all this positivity to put pressure on the English Cricket Board to use us for more occasions,' he added.

'So far we don't seem to have done enough yet to persuade the central administration to provide us with the number of fixtures, particularly Test matches we feel we warrant.

'We will continue to work very hard on that.

'It is clearly difficult to break into a market that has been dominated by a small group of grounds for so long.

'We definitely feel that we have the credentials and deserve more than we are getting at the moment.

'That is going to be my primary focus in the next year or two.

'It has taken a lot of hard work to get where we are and want to progress even further.'