ECB reveals 2019 Ashes schedule
Australia avoid Trent Bridge as Edgbaston, Lord's, Old Trafford, Headingley and The Oval are confirmed as Ashes venues
19 July 2018, 08:00 PM AEST
Australia will avoid their Trent Bridge bogey ground next year after England confirmed the schedule for the 2019 men's Ashes series.
Next winter looms as a huge one for Australian cricket in the UK, with the Ashes following on from the men's World Cup, where reigning champions Australia will be seeking a record sixth title.
In a fresh twist for the famous sporting rivalry, the 2019 Ashes will be the first series played under the new ICC Test Championship for both teams, which will see nine of the 12 Test nations (excluding newcomers Ireland and Afghanistan, as well as Zimbabwe) play six series over two years – three home and three away - in a league format before a final in June 2021.
The Ashes Tests, which are sure to be bolstered by a strong travelling contingent of supporters, will begin on August 1 at Edgbaston.
There will be a week's break between that Test and the second at Lord's, with the third hot on its heels at Headingley in Leeds, the northernmost venue of the tour.
The series then moves to Manchester's historic Old Trafford ground before its traditional final stop at The Oval in south London.
One ground Justin Langer and the Australians will be happy to see omitted from the Test list is Nottingham's Trent Bridge, which has produced some of their most dramatic and heartbreaking moments in the past 15 years.
The latest chapter was written in England-Australian folklore last month when the home side racked up a world record ODI score of 6-481.
It was at Trent Bridge where Australia were skittled for 60 inside 19 overs in 2015, two years after they narrowly fell short of victory in the opening Test of the 2013 Ashes at the same venue, a match best remembered for Ashton Agar's 98 batting at No.11 on Test debut.
And in the 2005 Test in Nottingham, then-captain Ricky Ponting was famously run out by substitute fielder Gary Pratt and Adam Gilchrist was brilliantly caught by a diving Andrew Strauss at full stretch to his left, taking the catch while horizontal. A tense match saw England edge home for a narrow three-wicket win that ultimately sealed the Ashes.
Australia currently hold the urn following a win at home in the 2017-18 summer, but they have not won an away Ashes series since Steve Waugh's side triumphed 4-1 in 2001.
Australia unsuccessfully toured in 2005, a shock 2-1 defeat in what is widely regarded as the greatest Test series ever played, and have tasted defeat in follow-up series in 2009, 2013 and 2015.
In that period, Australia have won just four of 20 Tests on British soil, losing 10 with six draws.
Next winter's tour will come after the suspensions for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have elapsed and this series could mark their return to Australia's Test team.
Australia will play eight Tests before the Ashes – two against Pakistan in the UAE, four against India and two more against Sri Lanka at home – giving others ample time to bed down spots in the Test team.
The World Cup final is scheduled for July 15 next year, giving the Australians little more than a fortnight to prepare for the Test series should they make it all the way to the tournament's pinnacle.
England will prepare for the Ashes in a historic four-day Test against newcomers Ireland at Lord's that is scheduled for July 24-27.
Australia's women will also tour the United Kingdom in 2019 for their own multi-format Ashes series, with the ECB yet to confirm dates. The Southern Stars retained the Ashes on home soil last November, having won them back off England during their triumphant away campaign in 2015.
Australian supporters are encouraged to start planning their tour and join the official Cricket Australia Travel Office waitlist at www.cricket.com.au/travel
Qantas Ashes Tour of the UK 2019
First Test: August 1-5 at Edgbaston, Birmingham
Second Test: August 14-18 at Lord's, London
Third Test: August 22-26 at Headingley, Leeds
Fourth Test: September 4-8 at Old Trafford, Manchester
Fifth Test: September 12-16 at The Oval, London