Champions Trophy: Glamorgan chief Hugh Morris welcomes England semi-final

Joe Root in action for England in Cardiff
Joe Root hit 64 as England secured victory over New Zealand in Cardiff

Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris says he is happy England will return to Cardiff for the Champions Trophy semi-final next week.

England defeated New Zealand by 87 runs in their second group game to book their last four spot on Wednesday, 14 June.

"England will be pleased to have sealed the win and a semi-final spot," said Morris.

"We look forward to hosting them and I know they are pleased to be returning."

England play their final pool match against Australia on Saturday at Edgbaston and will return to Cardiff next week regardless of the result in that match.

Eoin Morgan's team will face the runners-up in Pool B, which contains India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

"It is a real boost and this is a ground England have done well on," said Morris.

"In the last 10 years, England have only lost two games of cricket in Cardiff.

"We have sold out the match and we are expecting a good atmosphere whoever they play.

"Cricket in India is a religion and everybody is fascinated by it.

"Whether it's India or South Africa or anyone else we will look forward to hosting them.

Pitch perfect?

England posted 310 against New Zealand and looked under pressure when the Black Caps had captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor at the crease.

New Zealand were unsettled about the surface at Sophia Gardens, with a ball from Liam Plunkett leaping up and striking Taylor on the helmet before Williamson was dismissed for 87 with a rising delivery from Mark Wood.

Williamson claimed afterwards it was a difficult surface to bat on, but BBC cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew stated it was excellent England bowling and Morris agreed.

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"I thought it played really well," said Morris.

"England got 310 and were probably hoping to get 330, which on any ground is a competitive total.

"When New Zealand were 158 for two ahead of the required rate and ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis [method], they probably thought they were on course for a victory.

"England will be pleased with the way they finished the game.

"They have played a lot of cricket here in recent years so they know the ground pretty well.

"We were pleased to get the game on and it was a good game of cricket.

"The rain the day before was torrential and the ground staff did magnificently well to make sure the pitch and outfield was in good condition to start on time and get a whole day's play in."

Tickets sold

Morris said the semi-final is a sell-out and explained almost 14,000 tickets had been bought for England's victory over New Zealand.

"It was an interesting situation because we sold all the tickets bar 300 for the game," said Morris.

"A number of people might have looked at the weather forecast and decided not to have turned up.

"The bottom line is we sold 98 per cent of tickets for the game.

Cardiff's Swalec Stadium
Cardiff has been an international cricket venue since 1999

"It was a great atmosphere and environment and a good win for England."

Before next week's semi-final, Cardiff will host two more group games when New Zealand face Bangladesh on Friday, 9 June, and Pakistan and Sri Lanka play on Monday 12 June.

"They are two important games of cricket," said Morris.

"New Zealand can still qualify for the semi-finals and that will be a good game against Bangladesh on Friday.

"We are hosting Sri Lanka and Pakistan on Monday and it is always a good environment with their fans.

"It is great to be hosting a world tournament because you see the best cricketers on show."

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