Venues for 2013 Ashes series announced
Nottinghamshire were the big winners when the England and Wales Cricket Board today announced Trent Bridge and Old Trafford will stage 2013 Ashes Tests along with Lord's, The Oval and Durham's Riverside.
While Lancashire, Warwickshire and Glamorgan must content themselves with one Test each against Australia spread over two series - Edgbaston and the SWALEC Stadium's turn will be 2015 - Nottinghamshire have learned they, like England's two London venues, will be used in each of the Ashes summers.
The ECB delivered the independent major match group's decision this afternoon, not just on which venues will stage the next two Ashes series but also many other international fixtures between 2013 and 2016.
For Nottinghamshire in particular, the revenue they can expect from England-Australia Tests is vindication of millions spent on upgrading facilities and presenting a compelling case.
For other counties, there will be disappointment as they seek to stay in the black in an increasingly dire financial climate.
Cardiff, which staged the first Test of England's home npower Ashes series victory in 2009, incurred significant losses over this summer's rainy five days against Sri Lanka.
But while Glamorgan can therefore be encouraged at remaining in the Ashes picture, there is no place in the Test calendar against Australia for either Yorkshire's historic home at Headingley or Hampshire's much-admired venue at the Rose Bowl.
Those two counties must content themselves with one-day internationals against Australia and Tests which host other tourists.
Bristol, meanwhile, has not been awarded any international match against Australia but will host New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka in ODIs.
The major match group is chaired by Lord Bill Morris, who explained the decision-making process. "Lord's is the home of cricket and demonstrated to the major match group its unique iconic status and the exceptional benefits which staging major matches at Lord's can bring to the game.
"The MMG also noted the MCC's commitment to further develop the facilities at Lord's as well as the significant support which MCC provides to university and community cricket in England and Wales and the game around the world.
"As a result of these exceptional characteristics, Lord's has been awarded the 'platinum package'."
Lord Morris added his personal congratulation to those who have bid successfully, and commiserations with others, as he said. "There will now be a period of certainty for these venues, although we appreciate that some venues may be disappointed not to have obtained a better package of matches."
ECB chairman Giles Clarke added: "The quality of the submissions made by the venues was outstanding and reflects the importance to regions as well as venues in staging major matches.
"The awards for the next five-year period will enable counties to review and where necessary revise their business plans with the certainty of their match programme over a substantial period of time.
2013 Ashes: Lord's, Trent Bridge, Old Trafford, The Oval, Chester-le-Street.
2015 Ashes: Lord's, Trent Bridge, Cardiff, Edgbaston, The Oval.
2012 Test series v West Indies: Lord's, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston.
2012 Test series v South Africa: Lord's, The Oval, Headingley.
2013 Test series v New Zealand: Cardiff, Headingley.
2014 Test series v Sri Lanka: Lord's, Headingley.
2014 Test series v India: Lord's, Trent Bridge, Old Trafford, The Oval, The Rose Bowl.
2015 Test series v New Zealand: Lord's, Headingley.
2016 Test series v Pakistan: Lord's, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, The Oval.
2016 Test series v Sri Lanka: Lord's, Chester-le-Street, Headingley.
2012 ODIs v Australia: Lord's, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, The Oval, Chester-le-Street.
2012 ODIs v South Africa: Lord's, Trent Bridge, Cardiff, The Oval, The Rose Bowl.
2012 ODIs v West Indies: The Oval, The Rose Bowl, Headingley.
2013 ODIs v Australia: Old Trafford, Cardiff, Edgbaston, The Rose Bowl, Headingley.
2013 ODIs v New Zealand: Lord's, Trent Bridge, The Oval, The Rose Bowl, Bristol.
2014 ODIs v Sri Lanka: Lord's, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, The Oval, Chester-le-Street.
2014 ODIs v India: Trent Bridge, Cardiff, Edgbaston, Bristol, Headingley.
2015 ODIs v Australia: Lord's, Old Trafford, Chester-le-Street, The Rose Bowl, Headingley.
2015 ODIs v New Zealand: Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, The Oval, Chester-le-Street, The Rose Bowl.
2016 ODIs v Pakistan: Lord's, Trent Bridge, Cardiff, The Rose Bowl, Headingley.
2016 ODIs v Sri Lanka: Trent Bridge, Cardiff, Edgbaston, The Oval, Bristol.
2012 T20 internationals v South Africa: Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Chester-le-Street.
2012 T20 international v West Indies: Trent Bridge.
2013 T20 internationals v Australia: Durham, The Rose Bowl.
2014 T20 international v Sri Lanka: The Oval.
2014 T20 international v India: Chester-le-Street.
2015 T20 international v Australia: Cardiff.
2015 T20 international v New Zealand: Old Trafford.
2016 T20 international v Pakistan: Old Trafford.
2016 T20 international v Sri Lanka: The Rose Bowl.
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