Cricket

Trent Bridge to open Ashes

2012-06-01 13:02

London - Trent Bridge will stage next year's first Ashes Test, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Friday as it released a packed schedule of international cricket in England for 2013.

The home of Nottinghamshire, Trent Bridge staged its first international match - also between England and Australia - in 1899 and is regarded as one of the most scenic Test grounds in England.

Australia, looking to regain the Ashes from England, start their tour with two four-day fixtures, against Somerset and Worcestershire, before the opening Test in Nottingham on July 10.

The series then continues at Lord's, which has traditionally staged the second Ashes Test of an English summer, with the second of two back-to-back Tests starting on July 18.

Australia then have a tour game against Sussex at Hove before two more back-to-back Tests.

These will be at Old Trafford, the venue for the third Test as it was in 2005 when England won an Ashes series for the first time in 19 years, and Chester-le-Street, the home of north-east county Durham, which will be staging its first England-Australia Test match, starting on August 9.

Australia play a two-day tour match at Northampton before the series concludes at The Oval, in south London, where England have wrapped up victory in their last two home Ashes campaigns in 2005 and 2009.

There is no place in the Ashes calendar for a Test at Headingley, the headquarters of Yorkshire and one of England's oldest international venues, but the Leeds ground will stage one of two Test against New Zealand in May with the other at Lord's.

In between the tours by New Zealand and Australia, England will host the 2013 Champions Trophy, a 'mini' World Cup where the top eight sides in 50-over cricket will be on show.

Matches in that competition are due to take place at The Oval, Cardiff and Edgbaston, the Birmingham headquarters of Warwickshire, which will be without a Test next year.

For Kevin Pietersen, who announced his retirement from limited overs internationals on Thursday, his England season is set to end on August 25.

But the likes of Stuart Broad, involved in all three formats, could have to keep going to September 16 when England face Australia in the fifth one-day international in Southampton - four days later than the final international fixture in England this year.

September will also see England travel to Malahide, near Dublin, for a one-day international against Ireland.

England hold the Ashes after a 3-1 win in a five-match series in Australia in 2010/11 and ECB chief executive David Collier said Friday: "The prospect of England defending the Ashes on home soil, the world's top eight teams competing in the ICC Champions Trophy, and a full programme of 50-Over and T20 International cricket will provide rich pickings for cricket fans next summer.

"Last season's international programme attracted a record aggregate attendance of more than 850 000 spectators and we would urge all fans to purchase their international tickets early for 2013 to avoid missing out on what promises to be a memorable summer."

Ashes England v Australia:

July 10-14 - Trent Bridge

July 18-22 - Lord's

August 1-5 - Old Trafford

August 9-13 - Durham

August 21-25 - The Oval

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