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September 16, 2008
A seat for next summer's Ashes is, as expected, proving to be the must-have ticket of 2009 with Edgbaston announcing that the second and third days of the third Test were sold out within hours of tickets being put on sale.
On Monday night there were still some available for the first day, but these were expected to go on Tuesday. Around 4500 public tickets, priced at £75 for adults and £20 for children, remained for the fourth day. All members seats for the first four days have already sold out.
The other four venues - Lord's, Cardiff, Headingley and The Oval - will not release tickets until November, but Warwickshire took the decision to make seats available to those who had seen a Test at Edgbaston in the last four years. While that is good for regulars, it means that visitors from Australia may have difficulties obtaining tickets, although an ECB spokesman insisted this would not be the case.
Those hoping to attend any of the matches will have to have deep pockets. Prices have been announced for Cardiff and Headingley and these go up to £85, while there is speculation that the cost at the London grounds could nudge £100.
The news, which is not unexpected, will increase pressure on the ECB, which controversially awarded an Ashes Test to Cardiff despite the fact the ground had never staged a major international and has a capacity of only 15,000. It replaced Old Trafford, which has a capacity of just 3000 more but had a tried and trusted infrastructure.
In 2001, an ECB official, referring to The Oval, said: "By the time the match comes round in August we will have received something like 100,000 applications for a ground with a capacity of 18,500. If the capacity had been 60,000, it would still not have been big enough."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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