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Ashes tour dates revealed

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The England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia have reached agreement on the tour dates for the npower Ashes series, the NatWest Series and the two NatWest International Twenty20 matches.

NatWest Series

The schedule includes Australia’s first NatWest Series ODI game at the Rose Bowl in Southampton as well as two NatWest International Twenty20 matches at Old Trafford, Manchester.

David Collier, the ECB chief executive, said: “The summer of 2009 promises to be one of the most exciting in the history of cricket in England and Wales.

“The npower Ashes series and the NatWest Series, along with the NatWest International Twenty20 matches, have the potential for providing the sort of wonderful cricket which can fire the nation’s imagination.

“And of course all this follows the ICC World Twenty20 which guarantees that all the best Twenty20 players in the world will be in this country in June 2009.”

NatWest International Twenty20

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove added: “No one will ever forget the way that the NatWest International Twenty20 in 2005 set the tone for that remarkable summer and now we have a wonderful chance to recapture that magic at the Rose Bowl on September 9 2009.”

Jim Cumbes, the Lancashire chief executive, said: “We are thrilled that north-west cricket supporters will have the chance to see England take on Australia in the two NatWest International Twenty20 matches.

“We are also delighted to be hosting Australia for a one-day international at Old Trafford in 2010.”

Australia will face the England Lions at Worcester during the week before the first npower Test match, which will be played in Cardiff.

Worcestershire chief executive Mark Newton is delighted with the news.

“This is the closest we will ever get to playing a Test match in Worcester and I couldn’t be more pleased about the timing,” he said.

“2009 will be a huge year for cricket in England and for four days Worcester will be centre of the cricketing world.”

Australia also face Sussex and, provisionally, Northamptonshire and Kent in warm-up fixtures. The schedule also includes a one-day international against Scotland in Edinburgh.

Ticket details will be released at a later date.

Fixtures for the Australian tour to England 2009

May (tbc): Australia team arrive in UK
June 1-4: Warm-up period for World Twenty20
June 5-21: World Twenty20

June 24-27: Four-day game v Sussex, Hove
July 1-4: Four-day game v England Lions, Worcester
July 8-12: First npower Test, Cardiff
July 16- 20: Second npower Test, Lord’s
July 24-26: Three-day game v Northamptonshire1, Northampton
July 30-Aug 3: Third npower Test, Edgbaston
Aug 7-11: Fourth npower Test, Headingley Carnegie
Aug 15-16: Two-day game v Kent2, Canterbury
Aug 20-24: Fifth npower Test, Brit Oval

Aug 28: ODI v Scotland, Edinburgh
Aug 30: First NatWest International Twenty20, Old Trafford
Sept 1: Second NatWest International Twenty20 (floodlit), Old Trafford
Sept 4: First NatWest Series ODI (day/night), Brit Oval
Sept 6: Second NatWest Series ODI, Lord’s
Sept 9: Third NatWest Series ODI (day/night), Rose Bowl
Sept 12: Fourth NatWest Series ODI, Lord’s
Sept 15: Fifth NatWest Series ODI (day/night), Trent Bridge
Sept 17: Sixth NatWest Series (day/night), Trent Bridge
Sept 20: Seventh NatWest Series, Riverside
Sept 21: Australia team depart

1 Match played against first-class counties Select XI at Northampton if Northants in Friends Provident Trophy final played over this period.

2 Match played against England Lions at Canterbury if Kent involved in Twenty20 finals day.