Aussie fans come first

Australian cricket fans have been urged to get in early or risk missing out on tickets to key dates of the much anticipated Ashes Series beginning in November.

On June 1, those who have registered with the Australian Cricket Family (ACF) will be eligible to buy tickets to the five tests in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

James Sutherland, Chief Executive of Cricket Australia, has stressed that just because fans have registered with the ACF, does not mean that they are guaranteed tickets.

"Australian cricket fans are straining at the leash in anticipation for the summer we have ahead of us," Sutherland said.

"We expect there to be very strong demand for the tickets, but there is no guarantee of a seat, so we really do encourage members of the Australian cricket public to get in early."

Fans can register with the ACF up until May 22 on cricket.com.au.

ACF members then have an exclusive 18-day window in which to buy tickets, but on June 19 all remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public, including individual English cricket fans.

Despite thousands of seats having already been sold to UK tour operators, Cricket Australia expects it to be difficult for English fans to buy tickets, especially to the first days of the five Tests, which may sell out within hours on June 1.

Sutherland was quick to point out that despite the popularity of this series and the limited seating available at some of the venues, tickets will remain affordable for Australian families.

"The average price for a family of four to attend day one of a Test match this summer is under $70 which we believe is exceptional value," he said.

With the upcoming Ashes shaping up as one of the most hotly contested cricket series in decades, it is hoped that record crowds will flock to all the venues.

"I'd be very, very surprised if we didn't sell-out all (first days) bar Melbourne. I don't have the same level of confidence with Melbourne, just because it is a 95,000 capacity," Sutherland said.

Australia plays five Tests against England, with the first starting in Brisbane on November 23. The other Tests are in Adelaide (Dec 1-5), Perth (Dec 14-18), Melbourne (Dec 26-30) and Sydney (Jan 2-6). A Twenty/20 match and a Tri Series also featuring New Zealand follow.

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