Extra matches for England's Ashes tour
England have got their wish for three first-class warm-up games before the 2010-11 Ashes series after their poor preparation was a factor in their failed defence on the previous trip. Cricket Australia released its fixtures for next summer and in a change to tradition it will begin in October with a limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, while there is no spot in the schedule for the fading Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.
The Ashes remains the main event and England, who lifted the urn in August, have locked in three-day games against South Australia and Western Australia and a four-day match against Australia A in Hobart. The tourists hope the extra first-class fixture will settle Andrew Strauss's men before the opening Test in Brisbane from November 25. On the previous tour they opened the trip with a one-day contest before two low-key state games and were under-prepared at the Gabba.
After the five-Test series, which is due to finish at the SCG on January 7, the teams have two Twenty20 internationals before seven ODIs. The schedule comes despite Ricky Ponting's criticism that seven-match bilateral engagements are too long.
Australia's international season concludes with the final one-dayer on Febuary 6, giving the sides two weeks to prepare for the World Cup in the subcontinent. "It's a very busy period for the Australian cricket team over the next 18 months with an Ashes trophy to regain, but we also have a very strong focus on retaining our position as the No.1-ranked one-day team in the world," James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, said. "A World Cup win would make it four titles in a row."
Sri Lanka in Australia
Tour match v Queensland, 22 October, Brisbane
Tour match v New South Wales, 24 October, Sydney
T20 tour match v New South Wales, 27 October, Sydney
Twenty20 international, 31 October, Perth
1st ODI, 3 November, Melbourne
2nd ODI, 5 November, Sydney
3rd ODI, 7 November, Brisbane
England in Australia
Tour match v Western Australia, 5-7 November, Perth
Tour match v South Australia, 11-13 November, Adelaide
Tour match v Australia A, 17-20 November, Hobart
1st Test, 25-29 November, Brisbane
2nd Test, 3-7 December, Adelaide
Tour match v Victoria, 10-12 December, Melbourne
3rd Test, 16-20 December, Perth
4th Test, 26-30 December, Melbourne
5th Test, 3-7 January, Sydney
Tour match v PM's XI, 10 January, Canberra
Twenty20 international, 12 January, Adelaide
Twenty20 international, 14 January, Melbourne
1st ODI, 16 January, Melbourne
2nd ODI, 21 January, Hobart
3rd ODI, 23 January, Sydney
4th ODI, 26 January, Adelaide
5th ODI, 30 January, Brisbane
6th ODI, 2 February, Sydney
7th ODI, 6 February, Perth