Melbourne:Six weeks after regaining the Ashes, England has been given the dates for its next defense of the old urn on Australian soil and will have almost 14 months to prepare.
Following the euphoria of its unexpected win in 2005, England had a humbling 5-0 series defeat when it attempted to defend the Ashes in Australia in 2006-07.
The English regained the Ashes, again by a 2-1 margin, in August and now know that their defense will start in Brisbane on November 25 next year.
Cricket Australia released the dates for the 2010-11 series late Wednesday in London.
Despite dropping from No. 1 to No. 4 in the Test rankings after the Ashes loss, the odds are stacked in Australia's favor in the 2010-11 series, with England failing to win an Ashes series Down Under since 1987, the last time it retained the title.
"The recent Ashes Test series between the two sides was the sporting highlight of the summer and has really whetted the appetite of all cricket supporters as England seek to retain the Ashes next winter," ECB chief executive David Collier was quoted as saying. "It promises to be a great contest and I am sure many thousands of England cricket fans will be eager to ... get behind the team in Australia."
The English squad will have three first-class warmup matches before the opening Tests and another tour match between the Tests in Adelaide and Perth, offering a more thorough preparation than its last Test tour to Australia.
The first Test is at the Gabba November 25-29 before the teams move to Adelaide December 3-7 and Perth December 16-20. The fourth Test is in Melbourne December 26-30 and the final game is in Sydney January 3-7.