Cricket Australia (CA) and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have reached agreement that Australia's opening Ashes tour match against Sussex will be a 12-a-side affair.
"There will be fierce competition for places in our starting line-up for the 1st npower Test at Cardiff and we will be going all out for an emphatic performance at Hove," Australian captain Ricky Ponting said of the match which begins on 24th June.
"The arrangement for 12 players to participate in the match will not impact on the intensity of our cricket and will provide invaluable preparation for an additional player," he added.
11 players will be able to bat and only 11 will be able to field at any one time during the four-day match which precedes the five-match Ashes series, which begins on 8th July.
Sussex Professional Cricket Manager, Mark Robinson, added: '”We are delighted to be hosting the opening match of the Ashes Tour. Whilst ideally we would have liked the game to have been played 11-a-side, the 12 a-side participation will mean that the Sussex public will see more of the major Australian players. We will be fielding the strongest possible Sussex side to test the Australian Team in this important warm-up fixture.”
© Cricket World 2009