A look ahead to 2013
After a rollercoaster 2012, England’s cricketers face a busy 2013 that includes back-to-back Ashes series and the Champions Trophy; ecb.co.uk looks ahead to what promises to be a thrilling year.
England face a stern test of their credentials as the best 50-over team in the world as they travel to India for a five-match one-day international series. Alastair Cook’s side currently top the ICC ODI Championship, but have lost their last three series in India 6-1, 5-0 and 5-0 - their last one-day series win there coming back in 1985. Buoyed by the historic Test series victory in India at the end of 2012, Cook’s side will need to replicate those sorts of performances to remain ahead of their hosts and South Africa in the rankings. England’s women also head to India to defend their Women’s World Cup title, with the tournament starting on the 31st.
After two stints on the sub-continent either side of Christmas, England will need to adapt quickly to the contrasting conditions of New Zealand, where they remain in limited-overs mode for three Twenty20s and as many ODIs. England Lions head to Australia for a month, with three fixtures against Australia A the highlight for Joe Root’s youthful squad containing six uncapped players. England’s women play Sri Lanka, India and West Indies in Group A at the World Cup, with the top three proceeding to the Super Six stage. The final takes place at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium on the 17th.
England remain in New Zealand for a three-Test series against the Black Caps, who have not won a five-day series against anyone other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since 2006. Warwickshire face MCC in the county season’s traditional four-day curtain-raiser in Abu Dhabi from the 24th.
After a long winter, England take a well-earned break as attention switches to the domestic calendar, with the LV= County Championship starting on the 10th.
New Zealand arrive in England to face Derbyshire and the Lions before a two-Test series gets under way at Lord’s on the 16th, with the final match at Headingley Carnegie a week later. The teams then play a three-match one-day international series, beginning at Lord’s on the 31st. The Clydesdale Bank 40 starts on the third.
England conclude the New Zealand one-day series with a game at the Ageas Bowl followed by a day-night match at Trent Bridge on the fifth. The Champions Trophy starts the next day, with hosts England facing Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the group stages. The eight-team showpiece concludes at Edgbaston on the 23rd, before Australia’s Test side begin their Ashes preparations with a four-day game against Somerset. England warm-up with a similar fixture versus Essex.
The opening Ashes Test begins at Trent Bridge on the 10th, where England will be looking for a good start as they aim to secure the famous little urn for a third time in succession. Lord’s is the venue for game two, which takes place the following week.
A busy month for all England’s teams. The men play the third, fourth and fifth Ashes Tests against Australia, before two Twenty20 contests against the same opposition, with a fixture between the two womens' teams earlier in the day on each occasion. The women play their Ashes Test at Wormsley from the 13th, before three one-dayers and an additional Twenty20 game against Australia. The Lions face three one-day games against Bangladesh A, while the Under-19s take on Bangladesh and Pakistan in a triangular series. Edgbaston welcomes the four best short-form sides in the country for Friends Life t20 finals day on the 17th.
England play Ireland on the third in a one-day encounter, while Scotland take on Australia on the same day. Those games precede a five-match ODI series between England and Australia, from the sixth to the 16th. The CB40 final will be staged at Lord’s on the 21st, with the LV= County Championship reaching its climax on the 27th.
England fly out to Australia for another Ashes battle, with a tour match against Western Australia - beginning on the 31st - the first assignment for Cook’s men.
After further warm-up games against Australia A and New South Wales, Australia and England resume rivalries in the first Test at the Gabba on the 21st.
Adelaide and Perth host the second and third instalments of the 2013-14 Ashes. After a short break for Christmas the action switches to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test, with the fifth and final match in Sydney following early in 2014.