There's nothing like a peaceful start to an English - sorry, British - cricket season.

In days gone by, the summer would splutter into action with MCC v Champion County in late April, accompanied by a few desultory so-called first class matches involving the Universities.

Not any more - still a week to go before the merry month of May and already we have had the first rounds of two of four domestic competitions. Regarding the claim that "there is nothing like a peaceful start", last week was nothing like it, with a furious row exploding following the astonishing decision to award an Ashes Test to Glamorgan in 2009.

The background to the argument is choc-full of conspiracy theories, mostly based on wounded nationalist pride in the Principality.

Before Durham became the 18th first class county 14 years ago, Glamorgan were the last county accorded first class status in 1921 and competed under Wilf Wooller, after the Second World War, followed by Tony Lewis in the 1960s.

The locals claim selectorial bias against players who learned their trade on suspect pitches at Cardiff and Swansea. Opener Alan Jones' only cap was against the Rest of the World 35 years ago and later expunged from Wisden.

Maurice Turnbull, Johnny Clay, Gilbert Parkhouse, Lewis, Don Shepherd, Robert Croft and Matthew Maynard were arguably worth more than a total of 57 caps.

Slow bowler Shepherd's official caps are nil.

Jones is the only one of 36 batsmen who scored more than 36,000 first-class runs but never played Test cricket.

Shepherd is the only bowler of 33 to take more than 2,000 first-class wickets never to play for his country.

When the Test and County Cricket Board was replaced by the England and Wales Cricket Board the W for Wales was dropped from what was officially shortened to the ECB - the marketing men claim that three letters is more identifiable to the public than four.

The Ashes award set off a seismic tidal wave that stretched from the Rose Bowl to Riverside via Old Trafford not just because of the decision but the way it was reached via a recommendation to the full Board from an appointed sub-committee chaired by former trade unionist Sir Bill Morris.

Of that sub-committee, Lin Latham has been a senior executive of the Welsh Sports Council based 50 yards over the boundary wall at Sophia Gardens while John Crowther stepped down as chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association after a decade in which, it is assumed, his knowledge of Test match cricket and venues was not top of his priority list.

ECB chairman David Morgan followed Lord MacLaurin into office, since when his leadership on crucial cricketing issues - Zimbabwe for instance - has not been the most incisive. His defence against charges of lack of support made by former England captain Nasser Hussain on behalf of his players always centred upon the fear of financial penalties if England did not fulfil its World Cup commitments in 2003.

Namely, money is always the only criteria in the modern game, with principles thrust aside. Glamorgan's tentacles have closed around key positions on and off the England field.

Morgan worked with coach Duncan Fletcher in Cardiff, as did England's assistant coach and physiotherpist Maynard and Dean Conway. All pure conspiracy with facts twisted to fit a theory but one with sufficient credence to force a rare straight statement from chairman Morgan earlier this year.

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove was so outspoken about what he considered to be mis-management at Lord's, that always worked against the non-Test counties, that it is reported that Morgan warned him to be "less offensive."

Bransgove said last week he would taking legal advice and was considering his position with Hampshire.

Even before last week's Ashes bombshell, rumblings from the counties were becoming uncomfortably loud. As for that 2009 Cardiff Test, the arguments are simple.

Firstly, it is a provisional award, subject to planning permission being granted to spend the £7 million on tap. But, with so much of that money coming from the Welsh Assembly and Cardiff Council, woe betide any committee who veto the plans.

The same two bodies have bankrolled a Glamorgan guarantee to the ECB of £3/4 million profit for that Test match. Lancashire's chief executive Jim Cumbes rightly says that his club could not even match half that bid, and neither could Durham.

Which is why Sophia Gardens will become the first ground for 104 years to stage an Ashes contest as its first Test match after Bramall Lane in Sheffield, and it was to be the only Test staged there.

Yorkshire played a lot of county cricket there, but the last match was in 1973.

Lancashire staged the most successful of last summer's Ashes series, at least in crowds and atmosphere.

No-one who watched the last day will forget a "people's day" where it was first come, first served, and an estimated 10,000 were locked out an hour before the start. Yet they have dragged their feet in terms of refurbishing the tattiest of venues in this country.

Riverside have a more justifiable beef. Their purpose-built ground is 15 years old, with the original plans to develop it into a full-blown Test venue. They have been grace and favoured with Tests against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, and have staged several one-day internationals - all with great success.

They can house more than the 15,500 promised by Glamorgan, making it the smallest capacity behind Trent Bridge, Headingley, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, the Oval and Lord's in ascending order.

Not least in facilities necessary to stage a big match is access. Riverside is brilliant, just over a mile off the A1(M) with generous space for cars. Sophia Gardens will be a nightmare, situated half a mile down the road from the Millennium Stadium.

The River Taff closes down one side, the Leisure Centre another, and the road 200 yards behind the present club offices a third. Only a mile out of the city centre but a further seven miles from one M4 exit and four miles from another, it will be interesting how the Assembly and Council help Glamorgan to cope with that impossible looking statistic. As the accepted bid shows, the bottom line is money, so the counties know that everything else is out of the window.

Tradition pays no bills - Messrs Morgan, Morris, Tatham, Crowther & Co made a decision last week which is as close as can be to being the most momentous leap into the unknown as the game has ever known.