7 Cricket events to look forward to this summer

Jon O'Brien

BY Jon O'Brien

23rd May 2023 Sport

7 Cricket events to look forward to this summer

From the men’s and women’s Ashes and the World Cup Qualifiers to the ICC World Test Championship and The Hundred, these are this summer’s must-see cricket events

While this year’s biggest cricket spectacle, the 13th World Cup in India, is only scheduled to start in October, there’s still plenty of enticing on-the-field action to look forward to over the summer months.

From the historic Ashes to the fledgling The Hundred, here’s a look at seven events from both the men’s and women’s games which should help whet the appetite until the quadrennial tournament starts.

1. Ireland’s tour of England (May 26-June 4/Sept 20-26)

Few cricketing countries are busier than Ireland this year, with their schedule including tours against Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (the latter two for the first time in their Test Match history) and no fewer than six T20 World Cup Europe qualifiers.

"Few cricketing countries are busier than Ireland this year, with tours against Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and six T20 World Cup Europe qualifiers"

At the end of May, they will head to Chelmsford’s historic County Cricket Ground for the first time in 17 years to play County Championship Division One team Essex. Then at the beginning of June, they will take on England at Lord’s in a four-day test match, returning in September for three One Day Internationals at Leeds’ Headingley, Nottingham’s Trent Bridge and Bristol’s County Ground, respectively. 

2. ICC World Test Championship final (June 7-11)

India cricket team with the Indian Prime Minister
India's cricket team with the Indian Prime Minister during the India vs Australia 4th Test match on March 9, 2023. Credit: Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport

After two years and dozens of matches, the second ICC World Test Championship will finally be settled in June with a week-long tie between Australia and India at London’s The Oval. The former will be hoping to avenge the 2-1 defeat they suffered in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year. The latter, meanwhile, will be hoping to make up for the disappointment of losing to New Zealand in the inaugural event back in 2019.

Both teams have already named their squads, with Australia recalling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh after a four-year absence from Test cricket and middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane returning to the fold for India after nearly 18 months away.

3. The men’s Ashes (June 16-July 31)

Australia vs England cricket teams in the 2019 Ashes Marnus Labuschagne batting for Australia in the 2019 Ashes. Credit: Treflyn Lloyd-Roberts on Wikimedia Commons

Of course, for many cricket fans, the only series that matters is England versus Australia. The 73rd men’s Ashes, the first ever without an August fixture in order to avoid clashing with The Hundred, will be staged across Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford, The Oval and Edgbaston—the latter hosting the opening match in mid-June.

The English will be looking to restore some pride, having previously been walloped 4-0 by their fiercest rivals. And the form book is on their side. Under Ben Stokes’ captaincy, England have won ten out of 12 Tests and remain undefeated at home to Australia in five.

4. The women’s Ashes (June 22-July 18)

England and Australia’s female counterparts will be also batting around the same time for the 23rd women’s Ashes. And like their fellow countrymen, England will be aiming to make up for a comprehensive defeat last time around. In fact, England haven't won the coveted trophy since 2014.

"The women's Ashes includes three One Day and Twenty20 Internationals as well as the first five-day match in women's Test history"

The tour, which includes three One Day and Twenty20 Internationals alongside the first five-day match in women’s Test history, begins at Trent Bridge before concluding at Taunton’s County Ground. While the home team have yet to announce their line-up, the visitors look set to give 19-year-old wunderkind Phoebe Litchfield a Test match debut, following an impressive Aussie summer.

5. The World Cup Qualifier (June 18-July 9)

Cricket World CupThe ICC Cricket World Cup takes place in October but this summer sees the World Cup Qualifier. Credit: cricketworldcup.com

You don’t have to wait until October for some World Cup action either. The 12th Qualifier will see ten teams battle it out to secure the remaining two places in India, including the hosts Zimbabwe, inaugural victors West Indies and three-time finalists Sri Lanka. With England already through, home interest will come from Scotland and possibly Ireland if they can win all three of their forthcoming Test matches against Bangladesh and better South Africa’s net run rate.

This is the first time since 1979 that the Qualifier, whose ties will be of the One Day International variety, and the World Cup itself have been staged in the same calendar year.

6. The Hundred (Aug 1-27)

The cricket tournament designed to reel in those who don’t know their googly from their mullygrubber—55 percent of its inaugural season ticket sales were newcomers—The Hundred is the fast-paced 100-ball competition which pits two lots of eight city-based teams against each other in a league format, before concluding with a brief knockout.

"The Hundred is the fast-paced 100-ball competition which pits two lots of eight city-based teams against each other in a league format before a brief knockout"

Living up to their name, The Oval Invincibles have dominated the women’s side of things while the Trent Rockets and Southern Brave have each lifted the trophy once in the men’s competition. Beginners to the sport may still have to contend with the impenetrable Duckworth—Lewis Method, though. 

7. New Zealand return to England (Aug 25-Sept 15)

Following one of the most exciting, and in England’s case most agonising, Test finishes in recent history at the Basin Reserve earlier this year, New Zealand will now make the lengthy return journey for a series of rematches. The Black Caps will first take on Worcestershire and Gloucestershire at the end of August before squaring up to Matthew Mott’s men for four Twenty20 Internationals across the north.

The teams will then head down south for the same number of One Day Internationals, concluding at Lord’s in mid-September. As their penultimate series before the World Cup, England’s players, in particular, will be looking to impress.

Banner credit: LanceB

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