Cricket world in uproar over 'absurd' detail in Ashes announcement

Australian players, pictured here celebrating after winning the Ashes in 2022.
Australian players celebrate after winning the Ashes in 2022. (Photo by Matt Roberts - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Cricket fans and pundits have expressed their disbelief at the packed schedule for next year's Ashes series in the UK, which will be crammed into June and July in a 138-year first for the iconic event.

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

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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 match.

It means the series will finish in July and there won't be a men's Ashes Test in August for the first time in 138 years.

The tight schedule means the entire series will be over within six-and-a-half weeks, with England officials keen to have their players available for the lucrative Hundred competition in August.

But the fact that organisers view The Hundred as just as important as the Ashes has left fans and pundits gobsmacked.

Oliver Brown of The Telegraph in the UK tweeted: "Absurd how next summer's Ashes is being rushed through by the end of July, away from traditional August window, to make way for The Hundred.

"As if the two are even remotely comparable in prestige."

Aussies facing gruelling schedule around Ashes

Australia are also facing the tightest possible turnaround leading into the Ashes, with the first Test to come within a week of the World Test Championship final.

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

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

Pat Cummins, pictured here after the fifth Ashes Test against England in Hobart.
Pat Cummins looks on after the fifth Ashes Test against England in Hobart. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Ashes and World Test final will come 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.

However there is some good news for the Aussies in the venues selected to host the Ashes Tests, with the tourists not having to play at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

Trent Bridge has been the site of several recent horror shows for Australia, including the 2015 collapse when they were all out for 60.

There is also good news for the women's team, with the one-off Ashes Test finally slated to go to a fifth day.

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.

with AAP

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