CA calls for sixth Ashes Test

Cricket Australia is pushing for a sixth Ashes Test for 2010-11, the next time England tour Australia, with Hobart’s Bellerive Oval the favourite to host the extra match, should the plan go ahead.

Australia have not held a sixth Test matches in an Ashes contest since England toured 1978-79, but are keen to turn that around with the recent surge in interest for the series.

“Cricket Australia is keen in principle to have six Test matches the next time we have an Ashes series in four years,” Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young said.

Tasmania Cricket Association chief executive David Johnston said he would be delighted for Hobart to be included in any plans as a venue for an Ashes Test.

“That is something we have been looking at for a long time,” he said.

“I know that England has got some feeling they would like to play six Tests in England and if that is the case we would like to have six Tests in Australia as a reciprocal right and that would then mean Hobart would have a Test. That is something we have been working on for a few years now and it is starting to get some legs.”

England coach Duncan Fletcher was not very excited about the proposal however, saying that although he didn’t want to pass comment on the proposal without speaking to the ECB first, he was would be cautious about overloading the players with lengthy tours which could lead to player breakdowns and injuries.

“We’ve been going from February non-stop and go right through now to the end of the World Cup: 14 months of non-stop cricket. Somewhere along the line we have to have a break,” he said.

The 2009 Ashes in England will remain at five Tests however, an ECB spokesperson confirmed today.

“In relation to 2009 we have five Ashes Tests set down and we will not be making any changes to the scheduling,” he said.

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