Sydney: England will play a two-day match against a Chairman's XI in Alice Springs between the first and second Tests on their Ashes tour of Australia later this year, Cricket Australia announced on Tuesday.
The match, originally scheduled for Canberra, will take place on November 29-30 with the England team travelling to and from the Northern Territories by specially arranged direct flights.
It will be the first match in the town for the full England side, although an England A fixture is among a handful of international fixtures previously played at Traeger Park.
The last touring side to play in Alice was a West Indies team led by Jimmy Adams, who beat a Northern Territory Invitation XI by 57 runs in 2000. "It's been 13 years since Traeger Park hosted an international cricket team and I'm delighted this drought will now be broken in November," Northern Territory Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism Matt Conlan said.
"We'll be encouraging England supporters to make the trip to Alice Springs for the game, and Tourism NT will use the exposure of the town to promote the Territory as a holiday destination in one of our key international markets, the United Kingdom."
Situated in the geographic centre of Australia, Alice Springs is a town of 25,000 people and hosts the annual Imparja Cup cricket tournament which attracts indigenous teams from around the country.
Canberra was unable to host the match because the Manuka Oval ground will be undergoing resurfacing work at the time. "When we were informed that Canberra could not host this year's Chairman's XI fixture, we wanted to bring the match to an iconic part of Australia," said Cricket Australia's Andrew Ingleton.
England tour schedule:
Oct 31-Nov 2 Western Australia XI Perth
Nov 6-9 Australia A Hobart
Nov 13-16 New South Wales XI Sydney
Nov 21-25 First Test Brisbane
Nov 29-30 Chairman's XI Alice Springs
Dec 5-9 Second Test Adelaide
Dec 13-17 Third Test Perth
Dec 26-30 Fourth Test Melbourne
Jan 3-7 Fifth Test Sydney
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