Monday, April 15, 2013
Cricket Season Gets Underway in London
While Londoners' hopes for a warm spring have seemingly been hit for six, the summer season of cricket that features a mouth-watering Ashes Test series between England and Australia nevertheless gets under way in London this week with games at both Lord's and the Oval. Weather pending, the first round of the LV County Championship Division One starts on Wednesday 17th April with Middlesex taking on newly promoted Derbyshire at Lord's while across town Surrey take on last year's runners-up Somerset at the Oval.
There's no doubting that London's the place to be this summer for cricket fans - with two Antipodean touring sides coming to town, plus the ICC Champions Trophy and all of Surrey and Middlesex's home County Championship, One Day and Twenty20 fixtures. The highlight for most people will be the Fifth and final Test Match between England and Australia at the Oval between Wednesday 21st August and Sunday 25th August - a clash that could decide whether or not Alastair Cook's England side retain the Ashes against the old foe from Down Under.
The 2013 Ashes Series gets under way a month earlier with the First Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham one week ahead of the Second Test at Lord's, which takes place between Thursday 18th and Monday 22nd July. Travellers arriving from outside London to attend either of England's London fixtures this summer can conveniently book their accommodation on LondonTown.com, where there's a wide range of London hotels available to suit all budgets.
Warming up England for the Ashes will be New Zealand, the side who recently held England to a series of three drawn Test matches on their winter tour. The First of two Investec Tests takes part at Lord's from Thursday16th to Monday 20th May and is followed 11 days later by the First NatWest Series ODI games at the same venue on Friday 31st May. New Zealand take on England in two other London fixtures during the summer - the back-to-back T20 games at the Oval on Tuesday 25th and Thursday 27th June.
Before these T20 games, the world's best one-day cricketers from the eight top one-day international sides will gather in London in June for a cluster of fixtures in the seventh ICC Champions Trophy. Ahead of a semi-final clash at the Oval on Wednesday 19th June there will be four round-robin group games taking place in the South London venue: West Indies v Pakistan (Friday 7th June), India v West Indies (Tuesday 11th June), England v Sri Lanka (Thursday 13th June) and Sri Lanka v Australia (Monday 17th June).
This year marks the first Champions Trophy since 2009, which was held in Pakistan and saw Australia take the spoils for a second consecutive tournament. For the defending champions it will be a good chance to find their feet ahead of the cricketing highlight of the season: the Ashes. With the Second Test and Fifth Test to be played in London, Londoners have a lot to be excited about as the new cricket season dawns. Now if only the sun would come out a bit and dry those pitches out...
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