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Cardiff hosts Ashes opener

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 12, 2014

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

Steady rain delayed the start between England and New Zealand, England v New Zealand, Champions Trophy, Group A, Cardiff, June 16, 2013
Cardiff's early forays as an international venue have had mixed weather © PA Photos
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Cardiff will host the opening Investec Ashes Test Match next summer, reviving memories of the ground's inaugural Test in 2009 when England's last pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar clung on for a famous draw on the final day of a nervewracking Ashes encounter.

The chance to launch the series is another fillip for Cardiff, which has had mixed results with weather and attendance levels since financial support from the Welsh Assembly raised its profile as an international venue.

The city is also in contention with London and Singapore as a potential headquarters of the ICC in succession to Dubai.

The commitment to award Cardiff an Ashes was made three years ago, since when the ground's ability to implant itself as a major international venue for cricket has had a mixed reception. The city was also chosen as one of the three venues for last year's Champions Trophy.

Lord's, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and The Oval will also stage Tests as England attempt to recover from their 5-0 mauling in Australia last winter and regain the Ashes urn. That would demand that they won a fourth successive home Ashes series following their previous triumphs in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

Confirmation of the schedule is again a sharp reminder for some of what is perceived as a creeping north-south divide in English cricket. An Ashes Test is the premier attraction in English cricket, but there are no Ashes Tests for Old Trafford, Headingley, or Chester-Le-Street - even though the first two grounds are replete in history and expensively upgraded.

The ECB disputes such a notion, stating that Chester-le-Street and Old Trafford both gained Ashes tests in 2013. "Over a long-term cycle, ECB is committed to ensuring an even spread across the nation," an ECB spokesman said.

Headingley, which is the only venue where Australia have beaten England in the past two tours, does not appear by mutual consent because Yorkshire, heavily in debt, dare not risk the financial outlay. Old Trafford chose 2013 above 2015 when presented with the choice, but it will feel its absence heavily. The city is on the up, the ground transformed, but the Australians elsewhere.

After the Ashes, England and Australia will meet in a NatWest T20 in Cardiff before five 50-over matches at the The Ageas Bowl, Lord's, Emirates Old Trafford and Headingley hosting matches in the Royal London one-day series.

New Zealand's tour of England will begin in May with tour matches against Somerset and Worcestershire before the two countries meet in Tests at Lords and Headingley. ODIs are scheduled for Edgbaston, The Oval, The Ageas Bowl, Trent Bridge and Chester-le-Street. Old Trafford hosts a T20.

New Zealand itinerary: May 8-11: Somerset, 4 days, Taunton; May 14-17: Worcestershire, 4 days, New Road; May 21-25: 1st Test, Lord's; May 29-June 2: 2nd Test, Headingley; June 6: Leicestershire, 50 overs, Grace Road; June 9: Royal London ODI (D/N), Edgbaston; June 12: ODI (D/N), Kia Oval; June 14: ODI, Ageas Bowl; June 17: ODI (D/N), Trent Bridge; June 20: ODI, Chester-le-Street; June 23: NatWest T20I (F), Old Trafford.

Australia itinerary: June 25-28, Kent, 4 days, Canterbury; July 1-4, Essex, 4 days, Chelmsford; July 8-12: Test, Swalec Stadium, Cardiff; July 16-20: 2nd Test, Lord's; July 23-25: Derbyshire, 3 days, Derby; July 29-Aug 2, 3rd Test, Edgbaston; Aug 6-10: 4th Test, Trent Bridge; Aug 14-16: Northants, 3 days, Northampton; Aug 20-24, 5th Test, The Oval: Northants, Northampton; Aug 27: Ireland, ODI, TBC; Aug 31: NatWest T20I, Swalec, Cardiff; Sep 3: Royal London ODI, Ageas Bowl; Sep 5: ODI, Lord's; Sep 8: ODI, Old Trafford; Sep 11: ODI, Headingley; Sep 13: ODI, Emirates Old Trafford.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by dsig3 on (May 14, 2014, 6:25 GMT)

Too many ashes series for me. England will be happy as they can try and make up the ground they lost last summer. I am still enjoying the sweet taste of english tears, I have enough stocked up to last another 4 years.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2014, 4:55 GMT)

The sad reality when checking comments on here and England think their cricket side will roll through this series. So sad even when NZ beats the 2nd ranked test side in the world. So sad when England are losing their way in test cricket. A lot say NZ is now a top 4-6 side. The points system only points to success in recent years. England in recent times look as bad as the 8th-9th place teams. Cough cough 5-0 Ashes! How pathetic. NZ will turn up and roll this poor declining English side. Its funny, being a kiwi who lived in England for two years and seeing how England portrays other nations. Especially Australia... They then lose 5-0, the most embarrassing test series loss in world cricket history. Jump the gun again England... See what happens. Pathetic really.

Posted by RandyOZ on (May 13, 2014, 22:05 GMT)

Another whitewash coming up; complete with Jimmy Anderson not even trying again

Posted by jonesy2 on (May 13, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

nice starting point for another 5-0 annihilation. looking forward to it, hopefully in attendance

Posted by Speng on (May 13, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

As a neutral I can only say enough already. 15 matches in 2 years?! Plus this summer will make India about 14 times in the last 3 years. I guess they know where their bread is buttered but I think a visit from Pakistan wouldn't be amiss. I guess you can't fault the Poms too much as they generally wedge in a lesser team but this will also be the 3rd series against NZ in 2 years (if two tests can be called a series). Given NZ's progress however England could be in for a summer of home hidings :-)

Posted by Beertjie on (May 13, 2014, 10:56 GMT)

@landl47 on (May 12, 2014, 12:10 GMT): "all their aging players retire and the side falls apart." OK, let's see how it goes in Oz in '17-18. Buck, Pup, Watto, Hadds, Mitch, Rhino and Sidds out. That's a great many class players out but consider their likely replacements in 3 1/2 yrs: Burns/Lynn, Silk/Maddinson, Faulkner/Maxwell, Whiteman, Starc, Patto, Cummins. Methinks talk about the side falling apart is mere wishful thinking, but, hey, dream on! Could not agree more, @Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on (May 13, 2014, 0:43 GMT). I'll be there at Cardiff - first visit to the UK in 43 years! All the one-sided comments from bad losers, but I agree with the need for more tests against South Africa: nothing less than a four test series in future.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (May 13, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

Far too many Ashes series. It may make a ton of money now but wait for the next 20 years and Ashes will lose its appeal with these countless series. I hardly see much test series between England and the likes of Pakistan, SA, Ban and Zim with eachother especially in England. Yawn.

Posted by Flash_hard27 on (May 13, 2014, 8:12 GMT)

@Richard Paul Naylor - You know this article was written by Cricinfo not the ECB right? You need to lighten up guy.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2014, 4:57 GMT)

I came to this page from a headline link on the CricInfo home page saying "NZ England tour dates announced". Interestingly, it is only in the tenth and final paragraph of prose that NZ is even mentioned. Perhaps, though, it is a reflection of the patronising way that England see NZ only worthy of being an 'entree' to the real deal of an Ashes series, and no longer worthy of more than two tests. Don't know why they don't just play all their cricket against India and Australia and forget pretending that they care about the good of the world game.

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Country Fixtures Country Results
3rd Investec Test: England v India at Southampton - Jul 27-31
England won by 266 runs
Group B: Durham v Warwickshire at Gosforth - Jul 31
Durham won by 5 wickets (with 23 balls remaining)
Group A: Gloucs v Hampshire at Bristol - Jul 31
Gloucs won by 35 runs
Group B: Middlesex v Surrey at Lord's - Jul 31
Middlesex won by 6 wickets (with 31 balls remaining)
Northants v NZ A at Northampton - Jul 31
NZ A 424/7 Northants 184/2 (31/42 ov, target 365)
Group B: Somerset v Kent at Taunton - Jul 31
Kent 383/7 Somerset 347/8 (46.1/48 ov, target 374)
Yorkshire v Sri Lanka A at Leeds - Jul 31
Sri Lanka A won by 26 runs
Group A: Essex v Leics at Chelmsford - Jul 31
Leics 142 Essex 29/4 (8/50 ov)
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