Echoes of 2009 as Cardiff hosts Ashes opener

 
Frank Dalleres
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ENGLAND’S bid to reclaim the Ashes from Australia is set to begin in Wales next summer after Cardiff’s SWALEC Stadium was chosen as the venue for the first Test.

The series will again visit London twice, with Lord’s hosting the second Test and the Oval staging the final match, with dates at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge in between.

Cardiff’s selection echoes that of 2009, when Monty Panesar and James Anderson earned England an unlikely but ultimately vital draw as they went on to win the series 2-1.

Earlier in the summer England are to host New Zealand for a two-match Test series, followed by five one-day internationals and a Twenty20.

England coach Peter Moores is today set to name his squads for next week’s sole T20 clash with Sri Lanka and the subsequent one-day series against the same opponents.

The matches represent the build-up to Moores’ first Test series since replacing Andy Flower and Ashley Giles as England boss, and come after his team earned a hard-fought win over Scotland in his opening game in charge last week.

England’s new regime suffered a setback yesterday when spin-bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed announced his departure after six years in the role in order to take up a similar position with his native Pakistan.

Mushtaq’s exit follows that of batting coach Graham Gooch, who was let go following the appointment of Moores and a disastrous winter that included the Ashes whitewash in Australia.

ASHES 2015 DATES

Wed 8 - Sun 12 July
First Test, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff

Thu 16 – Mon 20 July
Second Test, Lord’s

Wed 29 July – Sun 2 Aug
Third Test, Edgbaston

Thu 6 – Mon 10 Aug
Fourth Test, Trent Bridge

Thu 20 – Mon 24 Aug
Fifth Test, Kia Oval