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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
Aussies in Ashes ticket scramble
England fans
England fans will fear being left without tickets
More than 180,000 tickets for England's Ashes defence have been snapped up by members of Australia's supporters club in the first eight hours of sales.

But they will not be available to the general public until 19 June.

The brisk trade will spark fears that English fans may go without, although Cricket Australia says they will find tickets at the large venues.

"Melbourne Cricket Ground has a 90,000 capacity, so there's lots of tickets available," said a CA spokeswoman.

"There will be a better chance for UK fans to get tickets here than was the case for Australian fans trying to get a seat for the 2005 Ashes tour."

This is unprecedented in the history of major event ticket sales in Australia

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland

England begin the first Test in Brisbane on 23 November looking to defend the Ashes urn they won at home last summer but they have not won a series in Australia since 1986/87.

CA has set aside a minimum number of 635,500 tickets for the Australian Cricket Family out of an overall total of 720,000.

To qualify for the ACF, fans must be able to provide an Australian postal address and have registered by 2 May.

The ACF allocation of 64,000 seats for the first four days of the fourth Test at the 43,000-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground has already sold out.

TMS VIEW
RT

The surge in sales brought reports that online systems were overloaded and telephone switchboards barely accessible.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said: "We knew Australians would be straining at the leash but even the experts have been surprised at the demand.

"Agencies are telling us that this is unprecedented in the history of major event ticket sales in Australia."

A CA spokeswoman added: "There has been a ticket allocation set aside for UK tour groups, whom we expect will take up these packages quickly, and also come 19 June there will be more tickets available."



SEE ALSO
Aussies calm Ashes tickets fears
21 Mar 06 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2006-07
15 Dec 05 |  Future tour dates


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