Dilemma for Bransgrove

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed that Edgbaston and Old Trafford would join Lord's, The Oval and Headingley in being allocated matches for the Australia series in four and a half years.

That means the Ageas Bowl will remain the only Test venue in England and Wales not to have hosted the old enemy.

Bransgrove has overseen the evolution of the ground, which opened in 2001, to international standard and with final developments including a four-star hotel, conference facilities and a new media centre due to be completed in the spring had been hoping to sign off by securing an Ashes contest.

Now he must contemplate whether to continue in pursuit of a future allocation.

"I need to decide whether I hang in for another round and see if we can get one next time," Bransgrove told BBC Radio Solent.

"I'd really hoped my work would be done here next summer. With the completion of the hotel, with us returning to a profitable performance and hopefully with an Ashes Test for us to look forward to, I really felt there was little more I could bring to the business in the future. So I was contemplating then getting right onto the back seat."

Bransgrove was pleased with the remainder of Hampshire's share of the spoils in the recent carve-up of major matches, with an India Test in 2018 and a limited-overs package covering 2017-2019.

"On the one hand we cannot pretend we are not disappointed that we have been overlooked again in terms of being awarded an Ashes Test match," he added.

"We've built what we consider the best cricket-watching venue in the country. On the other hand we have a spectacular collection of international cricket to offer.

"We have reason to be satisfied but are a little bit disappointed we are not right up there at the top table. There are always people who win and people who lose and we are somewhere in the middle."

  Hampshire's Ageas Bowl is the only venue not to have hosted an Ashes Test in England and Wales
Hampshire's Ageas Bowl is the only venue not to have hosted an Ashes Test in England and Wales