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Cardiff hosts npower Ashes opener 2009

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The England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia have reached agreement on the npower Ashes Test match dates for next summer’s series.

David Collier, chief executive of the ECB, said: "Already there is great expectation surrounding the npower Ashes Test series which will follow the 2009 Twenty20 World Championships in an exciting summer of cricket for cricket followers.

"We have been in full consultation with the England management about the structure of the series and our summer programme in 2009 and this was ECB’s preferred programme. I think everyone is now looking forward to the summer with relish."

npower Ashes Kevin Pietersen

Commenting on the announcement of the npower Ashes fixtures, Kevin Pietersen said: "As a member of the victorious England team in the 2005 npower Ashes Test series, I'm looking forward to facing the Australian team again on home soil.

"The 2009 npower Ashes series promises some great cricket, at some great venues and no doubt some tough challenges along the way.

"npower has been domestic sponsors of Test cricket since 2001 so this is the third Ashes challenge to take place during their support.”

Pietersen continued: “I'm pleased that interest in cricket continues to grow and the spectators can look forward to another thrilling Ashes dual - arguably the biggest cricket contest of them all!"

npower Ashes Test series dates

Wed 8–Sun 12 July: 1st npower Test, Cardiff
Thu 16–Mon 20 July: 2nd npower Test, Lord’s
Thu 30 July–Mon 3 Aug: 3rd npower Test, Edgbaston
Fri 7–Tue 11 Aug: 4th npower Test, Headingley Carnegie
Thu 20–Mon 24 Aug: 5th npower Test, The Brit Oval

The schedule for the 2009 NatWest Series is expected to be confirmed by the end of April.

During the npower Ashes series in 2009 the ECB will again host at least five 'npower Cricket in the Park' events.

Along similar lines to those hosted in 2005, each will comprise of a giant screen, entertainments, refreshments and cricket activities for all to enjoy. More details will be posted on ecb.co.uk in due course.