England to face Essex in Ashes warm-up

England will play Essex in a four-day warm-up ahead of next summer's Ashes series.

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England to face Essex in Ashes warm-up
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Essex will host a four-day match against England next summer

The national side will line up at Chelmsford's County Ground between June 30 and July 3 in a bid to reach peak condition for the first Test against Australia at Trent Bridge on July 10.

Announcing the fixture, the England and Wales Cricket Board's managing director of cricket, Hugh Morris, talked up the value of the contest.

"Our three-day match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 2009 provided excellent preparation for the Test squad ahead of the Ashes Test series and we are very grateful to Essex for providing us with a similar warm-up fixture next summer during a period when there is a break in the LV= County Championship schedule," Morris said.

The ECB have also confirmed the dates of next season's domestic finals.

Friends Life t20 Finals Day will be held at Edgbaston on August 17, with the Clydesdale Bank 40 showpiece once again at Lord's on September 21.

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