Trent Bridge to stage first Ashes Test

Fri, 01 Jun 11:32:46 2012

The England and Wales Cricket Board have released the itinerary for next year's international fixtures, with Trent Bridge playing host to the first Ashes Test.

It is another packed schedule for England, with series against New Zealand in all three formats between May 16 and June 27 before the world's top-eight teams contest the Champions Trophy. The Oval, Cardiff and Edgbaston are the home grounds for that tournament but, as ever, the focus will be on the arrival of Australia.

They will play two four-day warm-ups, against Somerset and Worcestershire, before the opening Test in Nottingham on July 10. The Ashes Series will then move to Lord's on July 18, Old Trafford on August 1, Durham on August 9 and finally The Oval on August 29.

Between the fourth and fifth Tests, the tourists have a two-day fixture at Northampton.

Having announced his shock retirement from limited-overs cricket, Kevin Pietersen's international commitments will end on August 25, while his colleagues contest two Twenty20s and five one-day matches against the old enemy as well a stand alone trip to Malahide to face Ireland.

The final match on the calendar, a 50-over clash with Australia, takes place at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl on September 16 - four days later than its 2012 equivalent.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: "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."

Collier also referred to the decision to hand Lord's the first Test of the summer against New Zealand, having initially awarded the fixture to Cardiff. Ticket sales for last summer's Test against Sri Lanka were disappointing and a compromise deal was reached which saw Glamorgan trade their Test for the Champions Trophy fixtures.

Collier added: "Cardiff was originally scheduled to stage next summer's first Investec Test match against New Zealand and following further discussions between ECB, Glamorgan CCC, and MCC, this match will now be played at Lord's. We are grateful to both parties for their co-operation in this matter."


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