London: England's triumphant tour of Pakistan has generated unprecedented interest in next summer's Ashes tour by Australia. Nasser Hussain's men returned this week from Pakistan as the first England team to win a series in the country for 38 years and have now won three Test series in a row. The One-day International against Australia on June 21 and the Friday and Saturday of the Test match at the Oval between the oldest rivals in International cricket are already sold out - over six months in advance.Surrey, who play their home matches at London's Oval, have confirmed that there are only 2,000 tickets left to be snapped up for play on the opening day of the fifth and final Test on August 23.The news follows the five-day sell out at the ground for last August's series clinching victory over West Indies. The huge demand, however, has increased pressure on Surrey to increase The Oval's 18,500 capacity."We are delighted with the continuing strong support from the general public for the England team at The Oval," Surrey chief executive Paul Sheldon told Sky Sports."Ticket applications have consistently exceeded our capacity in recent years, emphasising the need to press ahead urgently with our plans to redevelop the ground".
Copyright AFP 2000