Melbourne, Oct 18: Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday announced that the England Lions will be heading to Australia this summer to play a series of one-day matches against Australia A in late February and early March.
Ashes 2013 Schedule
The Junction Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney Cricket Ground and Hobart's Blundstone Arena will share the hosting duties, giving cricket fans an early look at what the arch enemy may throw up a few months later when Australia heads to the UK in their quest to regain the famous little urn, a CA media release said on Thursday.
The series will commence with the Victorians playing the Lions in three warm-up games, before a five-game series against the Australia A squad.
CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said the series would provide players in both teams an opportunity to get a better look at each other, previewing what may lie ahead.
"In addition to a massive summer of international cricket, fans will also get an early look at what the English might throw up in the Ashes when their England Lions team tours here in February," Sutherland said.
"While the Australian team will be in India for four important Tests for the Border/Gavaskar Trophy, those on the cusp of national representation will be able to test their mettle against England's next best and cricket fans get an early taste of that Ashes rivalry."
After the series gets under way in Victoria in early February with three tour games, the Australia A squad will then assemble as the series moves to Hobart with Blundstone Arena hosting three matches on 16, 18 and 22 February, before rounding out the tour at the SCG for the final two encounters on 25 February and 1 March.