Hugh Morris: Glamorgan will quieten the Ashes naysayers again

South Wales Argus: England's Hugh Morris speaks during the press conference at the Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane, Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday November 25, 2013. See PA story CRICKET England. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. RESTRI England's Hugh Morris speaks during the press conference at the Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane, Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday November 25, 2013. See PA story CRICKET England. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. RESTRI

GLAMORGAN are relishing the chance to silence the doubters again when Cardiff hosts the opening Test of next year's Ashes, writes Chris Kirwan.

England, humiliated 5-0 in Australia last winter, will start their bid to regain the urn in Wales on Wednesday, July 8.

The dates are exactly the same as 2009 when last pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar clung on for a draw to frustrate Ricky Ponting and his team in a tense, thrilling encounter. England went on to win the series 2-1.

Barbs preceded that Test with traditionalists bemoaning the fact that Edgbaston and Trent Bridge had missed out to the Swalec Stadium, let alone the more-established Rose Bowl or Chester-le-Street.

The critics piped up again when it was announced three years ago that Glamorgan had won another Ashes clash and it will be the same now that they have been given the opener, especially as there is to be no northern Test.

But Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris, who was in Cardiff as managing director of England Cricket five years ago, is unfazed.

"The club put on a fantastic show in 2009," he said. "There were some eyebrows raised about Glamorgan being given the first game of that series but the doubters were silenced very quickly by the warm welcome that was given to players, coaches, management and supporters, by the outstanding atmosphere and a fantastic game of cricket.

"I've no doubt that we can put on a similar show and people shouldn't forget that England have never lost a match here."

Having an Ashes opener is a financial godsend to Glamorgan, who were stripped of a West Indies Test in 2012 after being late with a fee owed for the fixture against Sri Lanka the previous year.

And Morris believes the county – who will also host a T20 clash with the Aussies on Monday, August 31 – is well-equipped to repeat the success of five years ago.

"It was a remarkable effort in 2009 to host such a major event with because very little international cricket had been played here," he said.

"Over the last few years we have gained experience having held a lot of international fixtures here and the city of Cardiff is used to holding major international events. That's a big advantage.

"It will be fantastic. On Wednesday, July 8 everybody will be up for a fantastic contest. England will be hurting after last winter but had won the previous three Ashes series. There will be two very determined teams looking to start well."

2015 Ashes schedule: First Test – Swalec Stadium (July 8), Second Test – Lord's (July 16), Third Test – Edgbaston (July 29), Fourth Test – Trent Bridge (August 6), Fifth Test – The Oval (August 20)

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