ECB dismisses Cardiff Test fears as 'speculation'

Swalec Stadium
Cardiff's Swalec Stadium has hosted two England Test matches

The England and Wales Cricket Board has dismissed as "speculation" reports that Cardiff's Swalec Stadium will lose next year's West Indies Test match.

It has been suggested England's Test match against the Caribbean tourists will be moved from Cardiff to Lord's.

The ECB is yet to officially release the Test schedule for 2012.

"The match was awarded to Cardiff in December and that remains the case. Anything else is speculation," said an ECB spokesman.

"However, the full 2012 schedule is still being finalised."

Lord's owners Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) told BBC Sport last week that Cardiff had won the right to host the Test against the West Indies.

"It is disappointing for us and it is disappointing for the West Indies players. Our members are very upset," said MCC head of cricket John Stephenson.

If Cardiff does hold on to the Test match, the West Indies would become the first touring team to miss out on playing a Test at Lord's, regarded as the home of cricket.

But reports have suggested that the ECB will go back on its original decision, with Lord's hosting the Windies Test and Cardiff instead staging the match against New Zealand in 2013.

Glamorgan have refused to comment on the speculation, with club chairman Paul Russell saying last week that he did not know if the Swalec Stadium would host the West Indies Test.

"We have heard nothing at all either from the MCC or, more importantly, the ECB," he stated.

The dramatic 2009 first Ashes match was the first Test hosted at Glamorgan's revamped ground, while the Swalec Stadium also staged this summer's first Test between England and Sri Lanka in May.

But Glamorgan are believed to have lost in the region of £1m after hosting that rain-affected international as the Welsh county struggled to sell tickets for the visit of the Sri Lankans.

Glamorgan sold 35,500 tickets over the five days of their Sri Lanka Test at 61% of the ground capacity - six percent higher than during Sri Lanka's last visit to England when the second Test was played outside London at Edgbaston in May 2006.

Glamorgan hope, however, that money will be recouped when the ground stages the final one-day international between England and World Cup winners India on 16 September.

Test matches for the summers of 2010, 2011 and 2012 were allocated following a process of sealed bids to the ECB.

Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and the Swalec Stadium are the successful bidders to host the three-Test West Indies series.

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