With the Ashes decided, England and Australia will look to determine which has the better ODI second XI

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England v Australia ODI at the Riverside (CC licensed by Steve Parkinson via Flickr)

England and Australia fans who enjoy answering the question “so why isn’t this the Ashes then?” will be delighted to hear that the two sides are going to do that thing where they follow the Test series with five don’t-give-a-toss one-day matches six months later in the other country.

The news comes as part of the ECB’s announcement of England’s 2018 summer fixtures.

Pakistan will turn up first in a somewhat forlorn bid to try and breathe a bit of life into the springtime two-Test non-series.

After that, it’s a one-dayer against Scotland and then five against Australia, during which both sides will doubtless make an attempt to ‘blood some exciting new talent’.

Then it’s India for the main event. After three T20 internationals and three one-day internationals, the tourists will play five Tests: three in the South-East and two in the Midlands.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. It does feel like we are forever playing India these days. And Australia for that matter.

    Which isn’t probably too far from the truth.

    Somehow with Sri Lanka, NZ not to mention Zimbabwe and Bangladesh not deemed worthy of any more than two tests in the Spring each Summer seems to have a sameness that I don’t remember growing up in the 90’s.

    1. At long last, something on which to look back favourably about the 1990s.

      Why Pakistan don’t merit more than two tests is beyond me. (OK, not it’s not, it’s obviously money, hey ho). Yes the schedule is crowded but do we always have to play five against India? (Oh yeah, it’s the money, stupid)

      I understand it’s also (about the money) a bidding war between grounds for test matches but it saddens me (and makes it more expensive to attend tests as I have further to drive) that there’s only one out of seven in the north.

      So yeah, in conclusion, money.

      1. Especially since that test series between India and England tend to end very one sided with one side essentially looking like they are longing to be on a plane long before the end of the series.

  2. With respect, KC, I think this is a tactical, diversionary piece, drawing attention away from matters at hand – no doubt an attempt to prevent King Cricket readers from attaining an excess of dew in their eyes this week.

    For today is a very special day in the cricket calendar. It is the day before the day before a Lord’s test.

    And as any genuine cricket lover knows, that makes today The Lord’s Throdkin Day.

    From the fancy apartments of Notting Hill Gate to the humble writer’s garrets of Bayswater; from the sprauncy mansions of Kensington Gardens to the seedy flats of Paddington…

    …the smell of Lidgates Iberico bacon sizzling in the pan, together with a pinch of fresh thyme, wafts through the mean streets of W2, W8 & W11.

    You can keep your smell of mulled wine, figgy pudding and chestnuts roasting on an open fire at Christmastime. This is the true seasonal smell, the cricket-seasonal smell. that brings tidings of comfort and joy to one and all.

    While the home of cricket prepares for battle, homes the length and breadth of about two miles away from Lord’s are getting ready to munch for England.

  3. Do counties where it rains less often during County Championship season have an advantage when it comes to winning the trophy?

    Lancashire play in three of the UK’s rainiest towns/cities (Blackpool, Liverpool and Manchester), and have drawn 5 of their 10 games so far this year, with current conditions likely to lead to yet another draw against table-toppers Essex (Chelmsford is not one of the rainiest places in the UK) in a match that, had Lancs won it, would have ‘blown’ the title ‘race’ ‘wide open’ (is that too many ‘inverted commas’?).

    Having said that, Glamorgan play most of their games in what is often reported as the rainiest place in the UK (Cardiff), but have nonetheless managed to lose 6 matches this year so far.

    1. Rain can keep you from winning, but it’s less likely to keep you from losing, if you’re bad enough.

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