England’s bid to regain the Ashes next year will begin with first Test against Australia at Edgbaston, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday.
Australia recorded a comprehensive 4-0 rout over England at home earlier this year but they have not won an away Ashes series since Steve Waugh’s side triumphed 4-1 in 2001.
The Ashes will kick off the inaugural World Test Championship, which will see nine top-ranked test nations competing in a league over a two-year cycle.
England are also scheduled to meet Ireland at Lord’s in a four-day test from 24-27 July, their first Test of fewer than five days since the tour of New Zealand in 1971.
“We expect next summer’s inaugural Test Match at Lord’s against our neighbours to be an historic celebration for all Irish cricket fans,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement.
“It will also provide excellent Ashes preparation for England against an Irish team whose impressive performance against Pakistan earlier this year showed they can compete strongly in this form of the game.”
Pakistan will be England’s first opponent of the home international season next year, with their tour featuring five one-day internationals (ODI) and one Twenty20, as both countries prepare for the 50-overs World Cup starting on 30 May.
England’s 2019 home schedule:
5 May: Only Twenty20 v Pakistan, Cardiff
8 May: First ODI v Pakistan, the Oval
11 May: Second ODI v Pakistan, Southampton
14 May: Third ODI v Pakistan, Bristol
17 May: Fourth ODI v Pakistan, Trent Bridge
19 May: Fifth ODI v Pakistan, Headingley
24-27 July: Only Test v Ireland, Lord’s
1-5 August 1-5: First Test v Australia, Edgbaston
14-18 August 14-18: Second Test v Australia, Lord’s
22-26 August: Third Test v Australia, Headingley
4-8 September: Fourth Test v Australia, Old Trafford
12-16 September: Fifth Test v Australia, The Oval
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The friendly will act as a Nations League warm-up for both teams. England face Belgium and Iceland in Group A2 and the Republic take on Wales and Bulgaria in B4.
India are keen on a reduced quarantine and wants the players to be allowed to train in a bio-secure bubble instead of being restricted to a hotel room, which, the BCCI fears, can take a toll on the fitness of its players.
England are slated to visit India from January-March for five Tests and a limited-overs series.