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Cricket

Cricket Hospitality Packages

West Indies will kick off this summer's international programme with a three-match Test series against England, which will see matches staged at Lord's, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston, followed by a three-match NatWest ODI Series and a NatWest International T20.

Australia, currently the world's number one-ranked ODI side, are then scheduled to take on England in a five-match NatWest Series.

The five-day game then resumes, with top-ranked England taking on the second-ranked team South Africa in Test matches at The Kia Oval, Headingley Carnegie and Lord's.

England will round off their summer with a five-match NatWest ODI Series and three NatWest International T20 matches against the South Africans.

Cricket Galery

Click to go to the cricket album in our photo gallery.

ASHES MOMENTS

The Best Bet / Headingley 1981

As England appeared to be sliding to an innings defeat, the big screen flashed up odds of 500-1 against them. Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh sent the Australian bus driver round to the Ladbroke's tent to place £10 and £5 respectively, and then watched in shock as Ian Botham and Bob Willis pulled off the greatest Ashes comeback in history.

The Ball Of The Century / Old Trafford 1993

For sheer theatre, it would be hard to beat Shane Warne's entry to Ashes cricket. His first ball ripped sideways across Mike Gatting's defensive shot, and removed the off-bail so delicately that it made no sound. Gatting had to check with the umpire that he really had been bowled. 'If it had been a cheese roll, it would never have got past him," quipped Graham Gooch.

Freddie's Cuddle / Edgbaston 2005

The moment when Andrew Flintoff went over to congratulate Brett Lee on his heroic innings could easily have gone unnoticed in all the hoopla surrounding England's two-run victory. Fortunately, photographer Tom Shaw captured their handshake with a wonderful photograph that has come to represent all the best elements of that hard-fought summer.

The Dressing-Room Sermon / Adelaide 1932-33

"There are two teams out there on the oval. One is playing cricket, the other is not." Bill Ponsford's resonant words were delivered from a massage table in the dressing-roomafter Harold Larwood had hit him over the heart. Bert Oldfield came off worse: he had his skull fractured in the same match.

Laker's One-Man Show / Old Trafford 1956

If Bradman's batting average is the most remarkable statistic in sport, Jim Laker's match haul of 19  for 90 comes close. In all the annals of Test and first-class cricket, no one else has managed more than 17 wickets in a game. The Aussies like to point out that his apotheosis came on a dustbowl of a pitch, described by the great Australian spinner Bill O'Reilly as "an absolute disgrace".

A Hundredth Hundred / Headingley 1977

A classical on-drive off Greg Chappell's medium-fast seamers took Geoff Boycott to this most prized of batting landmarks. And in front of his home crowd as well. The ovation must have been particularly welcome after the previous match at Trent Bridge, where Boycott had infamously run out Nottingham favourite Derek Randall.

The Legend of Gary Pratt / Trent Bridge 2005

A second innings centurion at Old Trafford in the third test, Ricky Ponting was building towards something similar in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge as England struggled for a breakthrough. Step forward Gary Pratt, England's substitute fielder, who threw down the stumps from midwicket to run out Ponting by a yard and spark an almighty strop from the Australian captain.

Five For One / Edgbaston 1981

At 105 for five, Australia needed just 46 runs to win the fourth Test at Edgbaston. But in just 28 balls, Botham took five wickets for one run to give England the win. Swinging the ball at pace, Botham - big, brooding and bearded - was in his irresistible pomp, even though he had to be persuaded to bowl by captain Mike Brearley.

An England Hat-Trick At Last / Sydney 1998-99

England bowler Darren Gough dispatched Ian Healy, Stuart MacGill and Colin Miller with a brilliant piece of bowling at the end of a long day. The ball that did for Miller was a majestic outswinging yorker that rocked the off-stump. It was 100 years since England's last Ashes hat-trick.

Bradman's Favourite Innings / Trent Bridge 1938

Stan McCabe's ferocious 232 at Nottingham was so chock-full of rasping cuts and pulls that Bradman stood on the dressing-room balcony and told his team-mates "Come and see this. Don't miss a moment of it. You will never see its like again." Bradman then greeted McCabe on his return to the dressing-room with the words "If I could play an innings like that, I'd be a proud man, Stan."