ECB announce dates for 2015 Ashes
The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced the dates for Ashes 2015. Having won the home Ashes series 5-0 against England earleir this year, Australia will look to defend its crown in the next series beginning July 8, 2015.
Cardiff, Lord’s, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and The Oval will host the five Tests. Australia will look to change its record of not having won a single Ashes series in the UK since 2001. The Test series will be followed by an ODI against Ireland and one T20 and 5 ODIs against England later on.
Australian coach Darren Lehmann is eager to take up the challenge that awaits his team. He hopes for his team to not commit the same mistakes that they did in their disappointing tour of 2013.
“They know their conditions well and we certainly learnt from our last experiences there and we have to change a few things,” he said.
“We played well on the back-end of the Ashes series last time in England and we’ve got to continue that on in the first Test and start the series well,” he added.
However, Lehmann jokingly blamed the sacking of coach Mickey Arthur less than three weeks before the start of the series for their disappointing tour.
“We changed the coach 24 hours before the tour started. Hopefully we’re a bit more settled, but you never know in this game of professional sport,” Lehmann said.
After having received the No.1 spot on the ICC Test ranking, the 44-year-old Lehmann that the team needs to be consistent with their performance at home and away.
“We played well at home and it was a great result for us, but the challenge is to win away from home and that’s what we need to do,” he said.
Meanwhile, England’s Ian Bell is confident that his team can continue their winning race at home. “Having been involved in 06/07, I think it is possible to turn things round, and I believe we can do it again,” said Bell.
“Yes, it will take a little bit of time. But in English conditions, I’d back us to beat anyone in the world.” a confident Bell added.
When asked about the home advantage that England would have, Australian skipper Michael Clarke said: “Last summer at home the crowds got right behind us and it really spurred us on. All the boys were talking about the amazing crowd support and how incredible it was to play in front of packed houses around the country.”
“It was an unbelievable feeling to have so many people behind us. To capture some of that support and have as much green and gold at grounds across the UK next year when we are playing on foreign soil would be a major bonus. We know there are plenty of Australians in the UK and for those that might be considering making the long journey, the efforts will certainly be appreciated by the team,” the Australian captain added.
Sources revealed that Cricket Australia is yet to confirm the schedule for the Ashes series.
“The details of the 2014-15 international and domestic cricket schedule remain a work in progress. Cricket Australia will announce its contents in due course once finalised,” a CA spokesperson said.
The ECB has also confirmed that New Zealand will tour UK for two Test matches, five ODIs and one T20 before the commencement of the Ashes series.
Wed 8 – Sun 12 July: First Test, Sophia Gardens
Thu 16 – Mon 20 July: Second Test, Lord’s
Wed 29 July – Sun 2 August: Third Test, Edgbaston
Thu 6 – Mon 10 August: Fourth Test, Trent Bridge
Thu 20 – Mon 24 August: Fifth Test, The Oval