This winter’s Ashes schedules have been confirmed, with the five-match men’s series to conclude in Perth in mid-January and Cricket Australia declaring that hopes of welcoming travelling England fans for “a summer of singing and sportsmanship” lie out of their hands.
The T20 World Cup – due to be played in India this autumn – has led to the men’s Ashes shifting into a slot a couple of weeks later than recent tours.
The series will begin in Brisbane on December 8, before a day-night match in Adelaide eight days later.
The usual festive fare in Melbourne (from Boxing Day) and Sydney (January 5) follows, with the series concluding at Perth’s Optus Stadium in a game starting on January 14.
It will be the first Ashes Test held at that ground, and the first time a series has concluded away from Sydney this century.
England’s warm-up arrangements are yet to be confirmed, but are unlikely to involve tour matches against local opposition. Instead, England Lions are due to be in Australia to provide competition in an enlarged squad, which will likely be joined late by those involved with the T20 World Cup. Either way, they will need regular and day/night practise given the Second Test will be played with a pink ball.
The Women’s Ashes – which are also held by Australia – will again be played across all three formats. The series opens with a four-day Test in Canberra from January 27, before three matches in each white-ball format across Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, wrapping up on February 19. Immediately after that series, England Women will head to New Zealand for the defence of their World Cup crown.
Nick Hockley, the English interim CEO of Cricket Australia, admitted the faint hopes of English fans travelling – which have been hit by Australia’s slow vaccine rollout leading to the maintaining of tough border controls – lie in the hands of the government.
“The Ashes is one of the great global sporting rivalries and seems to grow ever larger with each series and generation,” he said. “We cannot wait to host England Men over five Tests this summer. The most recent Men’s Ashes series was a remarkable contest that captured the imagination of the entire cricketing world and I expect this summer to be no different.
“In a perfect world, we would welcome England fans back to these shores for a summer of singing and sportsmanship. Of course, we will be guided by the Australian Government on all things related to international travel.”