Ashes fixture release

Australia will host England for the Ashes series in the summer of 2006-07, while the original urn is set to return to Australia for only the second time.

The much-anticipated Ashes series will begin on November 23 in Brisbane before travelling to Adelaide, Perth and then the traditional Melbourne and Sydney Tests over the Christmas and New Year period.

England's tour of Australia begins with the annual Prime Minister's XI fixture in Canberra on November 11. England will also play tour matches against New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, while Australia and England will play a Twenty20 match in Sydney on January 9, 2007.

New Zealand will join England as the second visitor for the 12-game VB Series that summer, which includes two matches in each state plus a best-of-three finals series in Melbourne, Sydney and, if required, Brisbane.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the build-up to the 2006-07 international season would be massive.

"Cricket Australia and the state associations have been inundated with requests for the dates of the 2006-07 program and that is a strong reflection on how much excitement and anticipation surrounds next summer’s program of international cricket," he said.

"The level of interest in the entire program is unbelievable but in particular, the 3 mobile Ashes Test series is shaping as the biggest sporting event in Australia since the 2000 Olympics – that's the scale we’re working on."

"It's not just Australian fans who are registering their interest either. We are expecting a large contingent of international visitors here next summer. This series is capturing global attention."

"To cater for the interest and popularity, we want to make sure that all Australians have the opportunity to be a part of the excitement. Even though our stadiums have relatively large capacities, we would be encouraging people to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment."

Sutherland also expressed his gratitude to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) for allowing the Ashes urn to return to Australia for the first time since the Bicentenary in 1988.

"We are extremely grateful for the MCC's enthusiasm and commitment to bringing the Ashes urn to Australia next year," he told AAP.

"The MCC has completed restoration work over the past few years to ensure the precious urn is safe to travel, and it will be a fantastic experience for Australian fans to be able to see this iconic piece of sporting history."

2006-07 Fixture

3 mobile Test Series for 'The Ashes'
Thur 23 – Mon 27 Nov Australia v England Brisbane
Fri 1 – Tues 5 Dec Australia v England Adelaide
Thur 14 – Mon 18 Dec Australia v England Perth
Tues 26 – Sat 30 Dec Australia v England Melbourne
Tues 2 – Sat 6 Jan Australia v England Sydney

Twenty20 cricket
Tues 9 Jan Australia v England Sydney

VB Series
Fri 12 Jan Australia v England Melbourne
Sun 14 Jan Australia v New Zealand Hobart
Tues 16 Jan England v New Zealand Hobart
Fri 19 Jan Australia v England Brisbane
Sun 21 Jan Australia v New Zealand Sydney
Tues 23 Jan England v New Zealand Adelaide
Fri 26 Jan Australia v England Adelaide
Sun 28 Jan Australia v New Zealand Perth
Tues 30 Jan England v New Zealand Perth
Fri 2 Feb Australia v England Sydney
Sun 4 Feb Australia v New Zealand Melbourne
Tues 6 Feb England v New Zealand Brisbane
Fri 9 Feb First Final Melbourne
Sun 11 Feb Second Final Sydney
Tues 13 Feb Third Final (if required) Brisbane

Other matches/events
Fri 10 Nov PM’s XI v England Canberra
Sun 12 – Tues 14 Nov New South Wales v England Sydney
Fri 17 – Sun 19 Nov South Australia v England Adelaide
Fri 8 Dec CA Chairman XI v Invitational XI Lilac Hill
Sat 9 – Sun 10 Dec Western Australia v England Perth
Mon 5 February Allan Border Medal Melbourne

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