Ashes dates for 2010 series announced

LONDON: The schedule for England''s defence of the Ashes in Australia during 2010-11 has been finalised.

England beat Australia 2-1 in this year''s contest and the next five-Test series will start at the Gabba in Brisbane on 25 November.

Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will also play host to Test matches.

England will play three warm-up games against first-class opponents before the start of the series and one in-between the second and third Tests.

In the 2005-06 series, which Australia won 5-0, England had only one first-class game before the first Test, although they did also play warm-up games against a President''s XI and New South Wales.

England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier said, "The recent Ashes Test series between the two sides was the sporting highlight of the summer and has really whetted the appetite of all cricket supporters as England seek to retain the Ashes next winter."

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland added: "I know we have only just finished an Ashes series in England but I also know that the Aussie players - and Australian cricket in general - are already thinking about the Ashes series down under which starts in just over 12 months.

"Australia has a very good Ashes record at home and I''m hopeful that will continue next summer and we can bring the urn back to Australia."