Sir Garry Sobers today backed Nottinghamshire's audacious bid to stage Ashes Tests in 2013 and 2015.

The former Notts and West Indies player, 74, believes Trent Bridge is one of the world's best venues and deserves to host the biggest Test matches.

Sir Garry, who played for Notts from 1968 to 1974, was at West Bridgford School to officially open a fitness suite.

While there he invited the school to send a team to the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament in Barbados next month.

Sir Garry, who lives on the Caribbean island, said he always enjoyed returning to Nottingham and hoped Notts succeeded in their Ashes bid, which they hand-delivered to Lord's last Friday.

"I have always had fond memories of some very good days at Notts and have lots of wonderful friends here. Therefore, it is always a great pleasure to come back.

"It's particularly pleasing to see the improvements at Notts. Trent Bridge is wonderful.

"The ground has really been improved since I played there, and it really looks beautiful.

"It has always been a world-class venue and it deserves to host Ashes Tests."

The last time Trent Bridge staged an Ashes Test was in 2005; Notts were unsuccessful in their bid for an Ashes Test in 2009.

"I am surprised by the bidding process for Test matches," added Sir Garry.

"Years ago when there was Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Headingley and the Oval, they didn't have it.

"There was a system where all of the grounds would host Tests in alternate years.

"Now, with all of the different grounds, they have this bidding and you have to pay a lot of money to get a Test.

"Lord's and the Oval always seem to have one, regardless. I can't understand it.

"I think the grounds that have been Test grounds over the years should always be looked at and have an opportunity to get a Test, before the new ones."

Sobers, who famously hit six sixes in a single over while leading Notts against Glamorgan in 1968, spoke to around 60 year 7 to year 10 pupils at the school and was presented with a commemorative silver plate before signing autographs.

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