It is not just the England Senior Test and One-Day squads which tour Australia this winter - four other England squads will also compete against their Australian counterparts in the coming months. The England Women’s Team will compete in a two match Test Series against Australia in February, but not before flying to New Zealand to take part in a quadrangular one-day tournament against Australia, India and New Zealand. The England Women’s Under 19 team, meanwhile, play in an Under 19 State tournament before taking on Australia Under 19 in two One-Day Internationals in January. The ECB National Academy squad is again based in Adelaide for a second winter, while the England Under 19 team also tours ‘down under’ for five One-Day Internationals and three Test Matches in early 2003.

The Pride Side Lions’ Den initiative was pronounced a big success this summer with over 6,000 boys and girls taking advantage of the scheme in its first year. Supported by npower, children gained access to a reserved enclosure (The Lions’ Den) at npower Test Matches throughout the summer, with every boy and girl receiving a free activity bag, a Lions’ Den T-shirt and cap, an educational activity book and a giant ‘Roar for 4’ paw. As well as enjoying the cricket, the 6-12 year olds were entertained by life-size mascots of the ‘Pride Side’s’ superhero cartoon characters - Shen, Maxie and Widget and lioness, Little M.

Next summer, npower Test Matches will begin at 10.45am instead of the traditional 11.00am start time. Lunch will therefore be taken at 12.45pm, the tea interval at 3.25pm, and the scheduled close will thus be at 5.45pm. Daytime One-Day Internationals also start at 10.45am.

Former England batsman and Warwickshire CCC Chief Executive, Dennis Amiss, will take over from Brian Bolus as the new Chairman of the ECB’s International Teams Management Group (ITMG) from 1 January 2003. His term of office will be for two years. Members of the ITMG, which looks after the interests of all England’s national teams, will therefore be Dennis Amiss, John Carr, Duncan Fletcher, David Graveney, Brian Havill, Tim Lamb and Hugh Morris

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