Australia face gruelling Ashes preparation

·2-min read

Australia are set to face the tightest possible turnaround into the Ashes, with next year's first Test to come within a week of the World Test Championship final.

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed dates for next year's Ashes on Wednesday, with Edgbaston to host the first Test from June 16.

Australia will then play at Lord's, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval, with the longest turnaround between Tests just eight days ahead of the second fixture.

The tight schedule means the entire series will be over within little more than six-and-a-half weeks, with England's cricketers then set to move onto the lucrative Hundred competition.

The pre-determined venue allocation means Australia will not need to travel to Trent Bridge in Nottingham, the site of several recent horrors including the 2015 collapse when they were all out for 60.

But it will mark a busy two months for the tourists.

Barring a calamity against West Indies and South Africa this summer, Australia will likely finish on top of the World Test Championship ladder.

The six-day final for the competition will be held at The Oval, and while the International Cricket Council are yet to release dates it is expected to begin on either June 6 or June 8.

It means that while England will not feature in that fixture, Australia could at most have a four-day turnaround between matches against different opponents.

The series comes as part of a busy year for Australia, with a four-Test tour of India in February and March, and a one-day World Cup back in India in September and October.

Meanwhile there is good news for the women's team.

The Ashes Test is finally slated to go to a fifth day, which will give every chance of ending the run of draws in women's matches once rain impacts play.

More than 60 per cent of women's Test matches have resulted in draws, including the most recent five played.

Matches will also be played exclusively on major grounds for the first time this century, with games at Edgbaston, Lord's, The Oval, Trent Bridge, Bristol, Southampton and Taunton in the multi-format series.

2023 MEN'S ASHES

Jun 16-Jun 20: First Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham

Jun 28-Jul 2: Second Test at Lord's, London

Jul 6-Jul 10: Third Test at Headingley, Leeds

Jul 19-Jul 23: Fourth Test at Old Trafford, Manchester

Jul 27-Jul 31: Fifth Test at The Oval, London

2023 WOMEN'S ASHES

Jun 22-Jun 26: Test match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Jul 1: First T20I at Edgbaston, Birmingham

Jul 5: Second T20I at The Oval, London

Jul 8: Third T20I at Lord's, London

Jul 12: First ODI at County Ground, Bristol

Jul 16: Second ODI at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton

Jul 18: Third ODI at County Ground, Taunton