England to start 2013 Ashes defence at Trent Bridge with Old Trafford another returning venue
11:03 GMT, 1 June 2012
13:01 GMT, 25 April 2013
The England and Wales Cricket Board have released the itinerary for next year's international fixtures, with Trent Bridge playing host to the first Ashes Test.
It is another packed schedule for England, with series against New Zealand in all three formats between May 16 and June 27 before the world's top-eight teams contest the Champions Trophy.
The Oval, Cardiff and Edgbaston are the home grounds for that tournament but, as ever, the focus will be on the arrival of Australia.
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Ashes heroes: England will begin the defence of the Ashes at Trent Bridge
They will play two four-day warm-ups, against Somerset and Worcestershire, before the opening Test in Nottingham on July 10.
The second Test, at Lord's, follows immediately on July 18 before Australia face Sussex in another tour match at Hove.
The next two Tests are also back to back, with Old Trafford the venue for the third match, as it was in the memorable 2005 series, and Durham's first taste of Ashes cricket coming in the penultimate match of the series, starting on August 9.
The tourists then have a two-day fixture at Northampton before the sides meet again at The Oval, where England have clinched the urn for the last two home series.
Having announced his shock retirement from limited-overs cricket, Kevin Pietersen's international commitments will end on August 25, while his colleagues contest two Twenty20s and five one-day matches against the old enemy as well a stand alone trip to Malahide to face Ireland.
Happy memories: The England team celebrate winning the Fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005
The final match on the calendar, a 50-over clash with Australia, takes place at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl on September 16 – four days later than its 2012 equivalent.
ECB chief executive David Collier said: 'The prospect of England defending the Ashes on home soil, the world's top eight teams competing in the ICC Champions Trophy, and a full programme of 50-Over and T20 International cricket will provide rich pickings for cricket fans next summer.
'Last season's international programme attracted a record aggregate attendance of more than 850,000 spectators and we would urge all fans to purchase their international tickets early for 2013 to avoid missing out on what promises to be a memorable summer.'
Collier also referred to the decision to hand Lord's the first Test of the summer against New Zealand, having initially awarded the fixture to Cardiff.
Australia announce Ashes squad
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Ticket sales for last summer's Test against Sri Lanka were disappointing and a compromise deal was reached which saw Glamorgan trade their Test for the Champions Trophy fixtures.
'Wales has earned an outstanding reputation for its ability to deliver world-class sporting events and we are delighted that Cardiff will be used as a host venue for the ICC Champions Trophy and stage a semi-final,' said Collier.
'Cardiff was originally scheduled to stage next summer's first Investec Test match against New Zealand and following further discussions between ECB, Glamorgan CCC, and MCC, this match will now be played at Lord's. We are grateful to both parties for their co-operation in this matter.'
2013 SUMMER DATES FOR NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA
New Zealand tour itinerary
May 4-6 v Derbyshire
May 9-12 v England Lions (Leicester)
May 16-20 v England (First Test, Lord's)
May 24-28 v England (Second Test, Headingley)
May 31 v England (First One-Day International, Lord's)
June 2 v England (Second ODI, Ageas Bowl)
June 5 v England (Third ODI, Trent Bridge)
June 22 v Kent (T20 warm-up, Canterbury)
June 25 v England (First T20 international, Oval)
June 27 v England (Second T20 international, Oval)
NB. T20 tour match at Canterbury on 22 June cancelled if NZ in Final of ICC Champions Trophy.
June 6-17 ICC Champions Trophy Group Stages
June 19-20 ICC Champions Trophy Semi-Finals
June 23 ICC Champions Trophy Final (Edgbaston)
Australia tour itinerary
June 26-29 v Somerset
July 2-5 v Worcestershire
July 10-14 v England (First Test, Trent Bridge)
July 18-22 v England (Second Test, Lord's)
July 26-28 v Sussex
Aug 1-5 v England (Third Test, Old Trafford)
AuG 9-13 v England (Fourth Test, Emirates Durham ICG)
Aug 16-17 v Northamptonshire
Aug 21-25 v England (Fifth Test, Oval)
Aug 29 v England (First T20, Ageas Bowl)
Aug 31 v England (Second T20, Emirates Durham ICG)
Sept 3 v Scotland (Edinburgh)
Sept 6 v England (First ODI, Headingley)
Sept 8 v England (Second ODI, Old Trafford)
Sept 11 v England (Third ODI, Edgbaston)
Sept 14 v England (Fourth ODI, SWALEC Stadium)
Sept 16 v England (Fifth ODI, Ageas Bowl)
Sept 3 Ireland v England (ODI, Dublin)