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Ashes Fever set to hit cricketing Britain

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the ashes, test cricket, women's cricket, T20, ODIsEngland’s women aim to retain the trophy – again.

Hot on the heels of the football World Cup comes the biggest prize in cricket – the Ashes.

The Women’s Ashes begin on 21 July at Taunton and end at Cardiff on 31 August.

For the first time both Sky Sports and BBC Radio will broadcast all seven matches live.

The men will be playing their Ashes tests too, but the two series have been scheduled so that no matches overlap.

The series will comprise all three formats of the game again, but this time the Test match will take place in the middle, with three One-Day Internationals (ODI) beforehand and three T20s afterwards.

The multi-format series has proved to be very popular although this year the number of points awarded for winning the Test has been reduced from six to four, as it was thought that winning the test last year gave England an unfair advantage.

Thus the Ashes Fixtures for 2015 are: ODIs on 21 July at Taunton, 23 July at Bristol and 26 July at Worcester; the Test from 11-14 August at Canterbury; and the three T20s on 26 August at Chelmsford, 28 August at Hove and 31 August at Cardiff.

Australia have already announced their 14-strong squad to tour England, with three new Test caps in the offing.

Of the three, Nicole Bolton will certainly be the one to watch, as although she will be playing her first Test, she hit 124 on her ODI debut against England last year.

England will be feeling confident, though, with several players showing good form in the early season, notably Kate Cross, who has been making a big name for herself in the men’s Lancashire league, with best figures of 8-47 for Heywood against Unsworth at the beginning of May.

Equally confident will be captain Charlotte Edwards, having been named England Women’s Player of the Year 2014-15 by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last month.

As it stands, the women have played 20 Ashes series – in different formats – since its inception in 1934-35.  So far, Australia have seven series wins and England six, with seven drawn contests. England will be determined to level it out this summer.

There has never been a better time to follow England women’s cricket; “It’s not being broadcast anywhere” is no longer an excuse.

Tune in to Test Match Special on Radio 5Live Sports Extra, or Radio 4 long wave to hear full coverage or watch the drama as it unfolds on Sky Sports.

Better still, treat yourself and go and see it live – it’s what summers are made for. All the ticket details are on the ECB website.

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