Thursday, 4 December 2008

West Indies to be Englands Ashes Preperation

It has been announced that England will face the West Indies next summer ahead of the much anticipated Ashes series.

The West Indies will tour England in place of Sri Lanka who had originally stepped in to take the place of Zimbabwe. The African side have of course been ruled out after being declared politically unsuitable opponents.

Sri Lanka were originally lined up as replacements for Zimbabwe, but many of their top stars had already signed up to partake in the lucrative Twenty20 cricket league in India at the same time.

Not wanting to play against a second-string side, the England and Wales Cricket Board have now found new opposition to ready the team before Australia visit these shores.

Therefore Chris Gayle's West Indian side will be heading to England in May.


The West Indies will face England in two Test matches, the first at Lord's on May 6 and the second being played in Durham starting on May 14.

Three one-day internationals will also be played, at Headingley on May 21, Bristol on May 24 and Edgbaston on May 26.

"The ECB is delighted that the West Indies will replace Zimbabwe for the 2009 tour to England and Wales," ECB chief executive David Collier said on their website.

"The West Indies are always popular visitors and this completes a wonderful summer of cricket which also includes the Ashes Series and the World Twenty20.

"The ECB is most grateful for the excellent support and co-operation provided by the West Indies Board with whom we have developed an excellent and warm relationship.

"We greatly look forward to welcoming the West Indies team, their officials and supporters next summer."

The West Indies were originally scheduled to tour England in 2010 but have agreed to play a year earlier, although their slot will now have to be filled.

Hopefully the West Indies will warm up and give England a sufficient test and confidence boost prior to the 2009 Ashes series.