The Rose Bowl will host Test matches from 2010, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Friday. The board awarded provisional Test status to first-division Hampshire's ground in Southampton, southern England. "This is a momentous day for Hampshire cricket and the Rose Bowl," Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said.
The Rose Bowl was controversially left off the list of venues for the 2009 Ashes series between England and Australia. That prompted a threat from Bransgrove, a businessman, to quit the sport. The Rose Bowl must complete a 35 million pound ($67.5 million; euro51.7 million) ground development program a year before it can host a Test match, the board said.
Work at the Rose Bowl is expected to finish by 2009, with capacity rising from 20,000 to 23,600.