England [ Images ] and Australia [ Images ] are to play back-to-back Ashes series in 2013 and 2014 to avoid a clash with the 2015 World Cup in Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) communications and marketing manager Steve Elworthy said on Saturday.
Elworthy told Reuters the proposed schedule would change the present tour cycle under which World Cups always follow an Ashes series in Australia.
"We're trying to break the cycle and separate the Ashes from the World Cup," he said. "The players are away from home for five months and they don't have time for proper preparation."
Under the proposed schedule, which has to be approved under the International Cricket Council's [ Images ] future tours programme, England would host the Ashes in 2013, 2015 and 2019. They would tour in Australia 2013-14 and 2017-18.
Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young told the Sydney [ Images ] Morning Herald the consecutive series were an ideal starting point to negotiate a new television rights deal when the present contract expires in 2013.
"From a media rights point of view, that is blue-chip cricket. The Ashes have an X-factor element that excites the Australian public. The Ashes make turnstiles spin and they drive the ratings up," Young said.