July 19, 2018 / 11:18 AM / 2 months ago

Cricket: Edgbaston to host 2019 Ashes series opener

(Reuters) - England’s bid to regain the Ashes next year will begin with first test against Australia at Edgbaston, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday.

Cricket - England v Australia - International T20 - Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham, Britain - June 27, 2018 Fireworks at the end of the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Edgbaston, where England are unbeaten since 2009, will get the five-test series underway from Aug. 1-5, with matches following at Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and the Oval.

Australia recorded a comprehensive 4-0 rout over England at home earlier this year but they have not won an away Ashes series since Steve Waugh’s side triumphed 4-1 in 2001.

The Ashes will kick off the inaugural World Test Championship, which will see nine top-ranked test nations competing in a league over a two-year cycle.

England are also scheduled to meet Ireland at Lord’s in a four-day test from July 24-27, their first test of fewer than five days since the tour of New Zealand in 1971.

“We expect next summer’s inaugural Test Match at Lord’s against our neighbours to be an historic celebration for all Irish cricket fans,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement.

“It will also provide excellent Ashes preparation for England against an Irish team whose impressive performance against Pakistan earlier this year showed they can compete strongly in this form of the game.”

Pakistan will be England’s first opponent of the home international season next year, with their tour featuring five one-day internationals (ODI) and one Twenty20, as both countries prepare for the 50-overs World Cup starting on May 30.

England’s 2019 home schedule:

May 5: Only Twenty20 v Pakistan, Cardiff

May 8: First ODI v Pakistan, the Oval

May 11: Second ODI v Pakistan, Southampton

May 14: Third ODI v Pakistan, Bristol

May 17: Fourth ODI v Pakistan, Trent Bridge

May 19: Fifth ODI v Pakistan, Headingley

July 24-27: Only test v Ireland, Lord’s

Aug. 1-5: First test v Australia, Edgbaston

Aug. 14-18: Second test v Australia, Lord’s

Aug. 22-26: Third test v Australia, Headingley

Sept. 4-8: Fourth test v Australia, Old Trafford

Sept. 12-16: Fifth test v Australia, the Oval

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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