ECB agrees dates for next summer's Ashes

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The Independent Online

The England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia have reached agreement on tour dates for Australia's tour next summer, where they will defend the Ashes.

Dates have been confirmed for the Ashes Test series, the one-day series and the two Twenty20 matches in 2009. Australia will kick off their warm-up matches with a four-day game against Sussex at Hove on 24 June before they face a four-day match against England Lions at Worcestershire's New Road ground starting on 1 July.

Both matches are played before the first npower Test match at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff which starts on 8 July.

Australia's itinerary for 2009

Mon 1-Thurs 4 June 2009: Warm-up period for World Twenty20

Fri 5-Sun 21 June: World Twenty20

Wed 24-Sat 27 June: Four-day game v Sussex (Hove)

Wed 1-Sat 4 July: Four-day game v England Lions (Worcester)

Wed 8-Sun 12 July: First Test, Cardiff

Thurs 16-Mon 20 July: Second Test, Lord's

Fri 24-Sun 26 July: Three-day game v Northamptonshire* (Northampton)

Thurs 30 July-Mon 3 Aug: Third Test, Edgbaston

Fri 7-Tue 11 Aug: Fourth Test, Headingley

Sat 15-Sun 16 Aug: Two-day game v Kent** (Canterbury)

Thu 20-Mon 24 Aug: Fifth Test, Oval

Fri 28 Aug: ODI v Scotland (Edinburgh)

Sun 30 Aug: First Twenty20 (Old Trafford)

Tue 1 Sept: Second Twenty20 (Old Trafford)

Fri 4 Sept: First one-day (Oval)

Sun 6 Sept: Second one-day (Lord's)

Wed 9 Sept: Third one-day (Rose Bowl)

Sat 12 Sept: Fourth one-day (Lord's)

Tue 15 Sept: Fifth one-day (Trent Bridge)

Thu 17 Sept: Sixth one-day (Trent Bridge)

Sun 20 Sept: Seventh one-day (Durham)

Mon 21 Sept: Australia Team departs

* match against First Class Counties Select XI at Northampton if Northants in Friends Provident Trophy Final over this period.

** match played against England Lions at Canterbury if Kent involved in Twenty20 Finals Day.