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CA staggers release of Ashes series tickets

Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2006, 23:53 [IST]

Sydney:Cricket Australia announced a staggered system for the release of tickets to the upcoming Ashes series against England, with Australian fans getting an almost three-week jump on the Barmy Army.

Tickets for the Ashes Tests, One-day series and Twenty20 game will be available to Australians who register online with Cricket Australia from June 1 but will go on sale to the general public and internationally on June 19.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said he expected demand for the series to be enormous and it was important that Australian fans had the opportunity to get tickets.

"This is going to be the biggest summer of cricket that we've ever seen and we want to make sure that Australian cricket fans are there and take up the majority of the crowd," Sutherland said on Wednesday.

"At the same time we're wanting to welcome as many English fans as possible to Australia. There has been an amount of tickets set aside for tour operators for the English coming out as part of a tour group."

Reports from England suggest as many as 40,000 English cricket fans will descend on Australia this year to watch their team defend the Ashes after the England regained the trophy for the first time in 18 years in a 2-1 series win last September.

Sutherland said hotel bookings in Melbourne for the December 26 Test were "already significant" and he expected the previous MCG Test match crowd attendance record of 90,800 to be broken.

"We've announced the tour program six months ahead of what we normally would and that's just (because of) the sheer demand and public interest that's out there right now," he said.

Sutherland said some technical issues needed to be worked out to prevent scalpers from buying tickets.

The Ashes Test series begins in Brisbane on November 23 before moving to Adelaide (December 1), Perth (December 14), Melbourne (December 26) and Sydney (January 2).

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