CRICKET: Townsville will host the final lead-in match to this year's opening first Ashes Test at the Gabba.
Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket have announced that England will play a Cricket Australia XI in a four-day match at Tony Ireland Stadium from November 15-18 as part of their build-up to the first Test from November 23-27.
Current Australian Test batsman Matthew Renshaw said it was a good decision.
"I was here during the winter series and the venue couldn't have performed better," he said. "I'm sure the fans will enjoy the chance to see what England have to offer before the First Test gets underway."
While it will be the first time that England has played at the ground, Townsville hosted the MCC in 1962-63 when the touring Ashes squad played a two-day tour match against Queensland Country at the Sports Reserve.
"Cricket fans in north Queensland will now have the chance to enjoy international cricket in their own backyard and experience first-hand the 2017 Ashes campaign," Queensland Cricket chief executive Max Walters said.
"Tony Ireland Stadium has earned an enviable reputation in recent seasons. As one of only three International Cricket Council-accredited venues outside of a capital city and featuring a 1000-seat grandstand, excellent player facilities and the ability to incorporate potential broadcasting capabilities, we consider Tony Ireland Stadium as leading the way as an international cricket venue in regional Australia."
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