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http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2014/5/12/ecb-announces-2015-ashes-dates

ECB announces 2015 Ashes dates

UPDATED 13 May, 2014 7:49PM AEST | by cricket.com.au

Full 2015 series schedule now available

Mark it in your calendar: Australia’s Ashes defence will officially begin on July 8, 2015 in Cardiff.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has today announced dates for next winter's Ashes where Michael Clarke's men seek to retain the urn won during last summer's 5-0 whitewash. 

Lord’s, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and The Oval will host the other four Tests as Australia aim for their first Ashes series victory in the UK since 2001.

England win 2013 Ashes

Australia also play four tour games during the five-Test series, which will be followed by an ODI against Ireland, then one T20 international and five ODIs against England. 

Australia coach Darren Lehmann was excited about the challenge that awaits his team after a disappointing tour in 2013 and is confident it will be an improved outfit that makes the trip next year.

"They know their conditions well and we certainly learnt from our last experiences there and we have to change a few things," said Lehmann.

"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."

'Boof' was able to see the lighter side of the team's preparation for last year's campaign when Mickey Arthur was sacked as coach less than three weeks out from the series opener.

"We changed 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.

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After returning to the No.1 spot on the ICC Test rankings on the back of last summer's Bank Ashes result and a 2-1 series victory in South Africa, Lehmann knows that they will only stay on top with consistent performances both at home and abroad.

"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."

It will be the second time Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens has hosted an Ashes Test after the thrilling opening to the 2009 series when England’s final pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar survived 69 balls to hold on for a draw.

On that occasion England bounced back from an Ashes whitewash to regain the urn with a 2-1 series victory and batsman Ian Bell is confident history can repeat.

Cardiff

"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 following an ODI win against Scotland on Friday.

"Yes, it will take a little bit of time. But in English conditions, I'd back us to beat anyone in the world."

Clarke said he hoped Australian supporters would help nullify the home advantage for England.

“Last summer at home the crowds got right behind us and it really spurred us on,” Clarke said.

“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.

While the ECB has announced next year's tour dates, Cricket Australia has not yet finalised this summer's schedule which will include four Tests against India and ODIs against South Africa as well as a full domestic schedule including the Bupa Sheffield Shield, Ryobi Cup and KFC Big Bash Twenty20 League, and the ICC Cricket World Cup.

A CA spokesman said: "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."

The ECB also announced that New Zealand will tour the UK preceding the Ashes for two Test matches, five ODIs and a T20I.

Australia to UK 2015

Thu 25 – Sun 28 June

Four-day v Kent 

Canterbury

Wed 1 – Sat 4 July

Four-day v Essex

Chelmsford

Wed 8 – Sun 12 July

First Test

Sophia Gardens

Thu 16 – Mon 20 July

Second Test

Lord’s

Thu 23 – Sat 25 July

Three-day v Derbyshire

County Ground

Wed 29 July – Sun 2 August

Third Test

Edgbaston

Thu 6 – Mon 10 August

Fourth Test

Trent Bridge

Fri 14 – Sun 16 August

Three-day v Northants

Northampton

Thu 20 – Mon 24 August

Fifth Test

The Oval

Thu 27 August

50-over v Ireland

Venue TBC

Mon 31 August

T20 International

Sophia Gardens

Thu 3 September

First ODI (D/N)

The Rose Bowl

Sat 5 September

Second ODI

Lord’s

Tue 8 September

Third ODI (D/N)

Old Trafford

Fri 11 September

Fourth ODI

Headingley       

Sun 13 September

Fifth ODI

Old Trafford

Get yourself to the Ashes 2015 with the Cricket Australia Travel Office. Register your interest for travel packages and tours here

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 12 May, 2014 5:30PM AEST

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