The winners and losers in Ashes Tests allocations will start fine-tuning plans to stage 2013 and 2015 matches - or working out why their bids to do so were rejected.
Nottinghamshire had most to celebrate on Thursday after the England and Wales Cricket Board announced they, along with Lord's and The Oval, will host Australia Tests in each of the next two home series.
Their bids to the independent major match group were the most successful of all, in a process which also resulted in a 2013 Ashes Test being awarded to Lancashire and one each going the way of Glamorgan and Warwickshire in 2015. "We're delighted here," Nottinghamshire chief executive Derek Brewer told Sky Sports News.
But while Brewer was thanking and congratulating his staff after all their hard work had been vindicated, other counties had less to cheer. Durham already knew they would be hosting a 2013 Ashes Test, and Yorkshire have found themselves in such awkward financial straits that they felt it was not viable to put any precious monetary resources into the bid process.
But Hampshire were hoping for a more favourable outcome, on the day when most international fixtures between 2013 and 2016 were allocated, than two Australia one-day internationals. Their chairman Rod Bransgrove could only vow to learn lessons and regroup, while for Nottinghamshire and Brewer there is no such need.
Brewer added: "It's been a very nervous wait. We had no inkling until we got a phone call from the ECB in early afternoon, so it was a very well-kept secret by them. It's been a massive team effort, a very long and exacting process. One of our objectives was to get Trent Bridge at the forefront of international cricket. We have certainly achieved that."
Bransgrove, meanwhile, must simply take the bad news on the chin.
"From Hampshire's point of view, all I can say is we're gutted. We have put in quite a lot of work to get up there with the best Test grounds in the country. But just when we thought we were doing fairly well we've fallen off the pack."
He will discover exactly what cost Hampshire an Ashes Test via feedback yet to be dispatched by ECB.
"We will have a look at our own balanced scorecard and find out how we have fallen so dramatically behind the pack - where we were in front," Bransgrove added. "We are certainly disappointed at not being worthy of an Ashes Test. But we have to look at the bright side, regroup and come back fighting."
Read more: http://www.shropshirestar.com/uk/uk-sport/2011/09/23/work-starts-now-for-test-venues/#ixzz1YlPUG68A