Worcestershire's New Road ground has been named by the England and Wales Cricket Board as one of the venues for the Australian team in the run-up to the 2009 Ashes series.
Australia will play an England Lions side in a four-day, first-class game starting on July 1, just before the first Test in Cardiff. The news is a major fillip to a club which is still striving for equilibrium following the repeated flooding of 2007.
Worcestershire chief executive Mark Newton said last night: "We are absolutely delighted about this announcement. This is the closest we will ever get to staging a Test match and I couldn't be more pleased about the timing.
"All we can do now is hope that a couple of Worcestershire players can get themselves in the side.
"Australia are still the biggest draw in cricket and, for four days that summer, Worcester will be the centre of the cricketing world.
"People still tell me they were here in 1948 when the ground record was broken and 14,000 people turned up to watch Don Bradman play. Mind you, 28,000 people have told me they were here, so I do not know where they were all sitting!"
Edgbaston will stage the Third nPower Test between Thursday July 30 and Monday August 3