29 Jan 2011

Cricket chiefs defend Ashes plans

3:34 pm on 29 January 2011

English cricket chiefs have been forced to defend themselves from accusations of Ashes overkill after plans were announced for England and Australia to play 15 Tests against each other in 24 months.

As per the plan proposed this week, England will host in 2013 before heading down under at the end of 2013 to avoid a clash with Australia's staging of the 2015 World Cup.

The 2017 Ashes in England will then be brought forward to 2015 to prevent a lengthy gap between meetings.

England and Wales Cricket Board marketing boss Steve Elworthy says they want to break the cycle of the World Cup and Ashes arriving at once, get enough distance between the events, make sure the players have enough catch-up time and they want to protect the Ashes brand.

Cricket Australia and the ECB will both have to agree the proposals before they can be included in the forthcoming International Cricket Council future tours programme.