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Busy England still want to host Aussies

By AAP Newswire

England cricket chiefs have expressed hopes of still being able to entertain Australia this year after announcing an intense period of fixtures following the relaxing of coronavirus restrictions.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said on Monday that England will host Ireland in a three-match ODI series starting on July 30 before taking on Pakistan in a packed UK summer calendar.

But the game's UK governing also confirmed it was exploring options to host England's limited-overs series against Justin Langer's Australia later in the season.

"We also continue to explore options for our England Men to play white-ball series against Australia this summer and hope to have news on those series soon," ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison said in a statement..

The Ireland squad will arrive and set up their base at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on July 18, before facing world champions England in three ODIs at the same venue.

The second and third ODIs between the two sides will be on August 1 and August 4 respectively.

Ireland, who last played an international against Afghanistan in March, have only beaten England once in their 10 ODI encounters.

Pakistan, who arrived in England on June 28 to quarantine ahead of the bilateral series, will face the hosts in three Tests and three Twenty20 internationals.

The first Test will be played from August 5-9 at Old Trafford, before the teams head to Southampton for the second (August 13-17) and then third Test (August 21-25).

The three T20 matches will be played at Old Trafford, with the opening game scheduled for August 28.

England return to action following the COVID-19 stoppage with three tests against West Indies, with the first scheduled to begin in Southampton on Wednesday without fans in attendance.

"It has taken significant effort and expertise to allow us to reach a position where cricket is now ready and able to return to the field of play from the elite level to recreational cricket," Harrison said in the statement.

"We owe a significant debt of gratitude to the players, staff and administrators of the Cricket West Indies, Cricket Ireland, and the Pakistan Cricket Board for their willingness and co-operation to get international cricket back up and running."