Cricket: Plan Ahead

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AS THE cricket season approaches, the exciting prospect of an Ashes series this summer has already generated a great deal of interest. Australia will play six Test matches and three one-day internationals against England.

Allan Border again captains the touring team, attempting to lead a third consecutive defence of the Ashes, having won the series here in 1989 and at home in 1990-91 in what will be his last tour of England.

The Texaco one-day internationals at Edgbaston (seats for members only) and Lord's are already sold out to the public, and Old Trafford has tickets in only three stands for the first international on 19 May. For the six Cornhill Tests, Old Trafford has seats on all days for the first match, but Lord's has space only on the Thursday and Sunday. Trent Bridge have some seats remaining for the Friday and Saturday, and the first day of the third Test is selling well.

At Headingley, Friday is the popular choice, followed by Saturday, though seats are plentiful for Thursday and Sunday. The fifth Test at Edgbaston has seats for all days, but they are selling well. At The Oval for the final Test, seats with restricted viewing only remain on the Friday.

Australian Tour: Opening matches (one-day): 30 April, England Amateur XI, at Radlett; 2 May, Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk's XI, at Arundel

Texaco one-day internationals: 19 May, Old Trafford. International Match Bookings, Lancashire CCC, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 0PX. Tel: 061-848 7021 for credit card bookings/enquiries. 21 May, Edgbaston: The Ticket Office, Warwickshire CCC, County Ground, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7QU. Tel: 021-446 5506. 23 May, Lord's: MCC, Lord's Ground, London NW8 8QN. Tel: 071-289 8979. Credit card bookings (not before 4 May) between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, to 071-289 5005.

Cornhill Test matches: 3-7 June, Old Trafford: see above. 17-21 June, Lord's: see above. 1-6 July (rest day 4 July), Trent Bridge: The Ticket Office, Nottingham CCC, Trent Bridge, Nottingham, NG2 6AG. Tel: 0602-817005 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. 22-26 July, Headingley: The Secretary, Yorkshire CCC, Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds LS6 3BU. Tel: 0532-787394. 5-9 August, Edgbaston: see above. 19-23 August, The Oval: The Ticket Office Manager, Surrey CCC, The Oval, Kennington, London SE11 5SS. Tel: 071-582 7764 for credit card bookings between 9.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Details of forthcoming events with information on tickets and venues should be sent to The Sports Desk, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB or faxed to 071-956 1894.