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ECB dismisses fears of Ashes overkill from 2013 to 2015

By Andy Sully

England supporters in 5th Ashes test 2011
The ECB wants to keep up the high-level of public interest in the Ashes

An England and Wales Cricket Board official has dismissed fears of "Ashes overkill" after confirming plans to play three series in two years.

England would be the hosts in 2013 before heading down under in winter 2013-14, thus avoiding a clash with Australia's Cricket World Cup in 2015.

The 2017 Ashes in England would then be brought forward to summer 2015 to prevent a lengthy gap between meetings.

ECB marketing boss Steve Elworthy said the changes would "maintain momentum".

Elworthy told BBC Sport: "We want to break the cycle of the World Cup and Ashes arriving at once, get enough distance between the events, make sure the players have enough catch-up time and we want to protect the Ashes brand."

Proposed new Ashes dates
England 2013 - Unchanged
Australia 2014-15 - Brought forward to 2013-14
England 2017 - Brought forward to 2015

He dismissed fears that 15 Ashes Tests in a 24-month period could be overkill.

"It's important to maintain momentum," Elworthy added.

"There's a huge resurgence for Test cricket right now, a massive wave of interest.

"With the home-and-away nature of the Ashes, fans will really have something to look forward to. Everyone wants to see the arch-rivals meet."

He said the plans were "90% likely" to be approved.

The 2013 and 2015 proposals would also avoid clashes with football's 2014 World Cup finals and 2016 European Championships.

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The 2015 Cricket World Cup is being held in Australia and New Zealand and had the normal Ashes rotation gone ahead, English players would have had to remain down under for five months prior to the tournament.

If the changes are approved, the usual four-year cycle will resume with the Ashes being hosted in Australia in 2017 and England in 2019.

Cricket Australia and the ECB would both have to agree the proposals before they could be included in the forthcoming International Cricket Council future tours programme, which covers internationals from 2012 to 2020.



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see also
Flower targets World Cup victory
09 Jan 11 |  England
England seal Ashes series triumph
07 Jan 11 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
29 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Durham to stage 2013 Ashes Test
30 Jul 09 |  England
England look to move Ashes cycle
20 Oct 06 |  England


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