Trent Bridge to host first Test of 2013 Ashes
England will begin their 2013 defence of the Ashes with back-to-back Tests at Trent Bridge and Lord's in July, while Australia will play a first Test at Durham's Chester-le-Street ground in the fourth match of the series. The ECB has announced the schedules for Australia's tour next year, as well as the visit of New Zealand earlier in the summer and the itinerary for the ICC Champions Trophy.
The ECB has also confirmed that Lord's will host the first New Zealand Test in 2013, instead of Cardiff. Lord's had previously stepped in to host West Indies last month, after Glamorgan were late in making payments for the Cardiff Test between England and Sri Lanka in 2011.
The 2013 series between England and Australia will kick off a run of 15 Ashes Tests within a two-year period. The third match will see Test cricket return to Old Trafford for the first time since 2010, while the series will conclude at the traditional venue of the The Oval.
David Collier, the ECB's chief executive, said: "The prospect of England defending the Ashes on home soil, the world's top eight teams competing in the ICC Champions Trophy, and a full programme of 50-over and T20 international cricket will provide rich pickings for cricket fans next summer.
"Last season's international programme attracted a record aggregate attendance of more than 850,000 spectators and we would urge all fans to purchase their international tickets early for 2013 to avoid missing out on what promises to be a memorable summer."
The next Ashes in Australia will take place immediately after in 2013-14 - meaning the two teams will effectively play ten Tests in a row - to avoid a clash with the 2015 World Cup, which will be held in Australia. England are then expected to host the Ashes again in 2015, before the series reverts back to its usual four-year cycle.
Australia will begin their preparations next summer with two four-day games, against Somerset and Worcestershire, and they will play Sussex in a three-day match at Hove between the second and third Tests. An ODI against Scotland in Edinburgh has also been scheduled ahead of the one-day series with England.
Several grounds that missed out on hosting Ashes Tests in 2013 have been awarded limited-overs fixtures, which will take place after the Test series. Hampshire's West End stadium will be the venue for a T20I and the fifth ODI, Edgbaston will host the third ODI and Cardiff the fourth. Cardiff, which had been due to host a 2013 Test between England and New Zealand, has instead been named as one of the three venues for the Champions Trophy.
"Wales has earned an outstanding reputation for its ability to deliver world-class sporting events and we are delighted that Cardiff will be used as a host venue for the ICC Champions Trophy and stage a semi-final," Collier said. "Cardiff was originally scheduled to stage next summer's first Test match against New Zealand and following further discussions between ECB, Glamorgan and MCC, this match will now be played at Lord's. We are grateful to both parties for their co-operation in this matter."
An ODI between Ireland and England at the redeveloped Malahide Cricket Club ground has also been announced for September 2013.
2013 Australia tour of England and Ashes schedule
June 26-29, four-day game v Somerset Taunton
July 2-5, four-day game v Worcestershire New Road
July 10-14, first Test Trent Bridge
July 18-22, second Test Lord's
July 26-28, three-day game v Sussex Hove
August 1-5, third Test Old Trafford
August 9-13, fourth Test Chester-le-Street
August 16-17, two-day game v Northamptonshire* Northampton*
August 21-25, fifth Test The Oval
August 29, first T20 international (D/N) West End
August 31, second T20 international Chester-le-Street
September 3, ODI Scotland v Australia Edinburgh
September 6, first ODI Headingley
September 8, second ODI Old Trafford
September 11, third ODI (D/N) Edgbaston
September 14, fourth ODI Cardiff
September 16, fifth ODI (D/N) West End
* If Northamptonshire reach the Friends Life t20 final, England Lions will host Australia at Northampton in a two-day fixture on August 16-17