England players have expressed their surprise and disappointment at the omission of both main northern venues from the schedule for the 2027 men’s Ashes.
Headingley and Old Trafford, the venues for the third and fourth Tests in the ongoing series, have been overlooked in the allocation for England’s next home Ashes in four years’ time. The Ageas Bowl, near Southampton, will instead host its first Ashes Test, while Trent Bridge will be the northernmost ground used in the series.
“As a lad from the north, obviously I love playing in the north,” Wood told talkSPORT. “Headingley has had some [amazing] games: obviously in the last series with Ben Stokes and this one was another great game. Old Trafford’s an iconic place to play. Durham as well… to see Test-match cricket up in the north at Durham is always special.
“I understand some of the reasons why but [I am] surprised there isn’t at least one game up here, because I think we get great support and I think they’re iconic places to play. [I’m] a little bit disappointed, just being from the north, that there isn’t one up here where you feel like you’ve got that extra backing and you can relate with people up here.”
Leach, who is from the south-west, suggested that England’s players perform better in front of the louder crowds that attend Tests in the north. “You want to make the most of home advantage don’t you? And those grounds, you definitely feel like you’ve got potentially that,” Leach told the Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast.
“I think about going to Australia and the amount of stick I got or we all got there and maybe, with those grounds [Old Trafford and Headingley], you feel like the opposition gets it a little bit. You get it when you go to that place. And I think that actually can make a big difference.
“They talk about the crowd being like a 12th man and I think in those places, it definitely is. So yeah, I think that’s a shame… playing up north, those grounds seem to be good for us and the crowd is just epic up in those places.”
Both Old Trafford and Headingley will host Tests against India – England’s second-most prestigious home series – in 2025, while Headingley is due to host the women’s Ashes Test in 2027.