Cricket Australia has recently made an announcement of their summer schedule at home, which includes a high-profile Test series against India in December. Australia women’s team is set to begin their campaign in late September against neighbours New Zealand for a T20I and an ODI series.
Meanwhile, Australia men’s team is planning to return to international cricket in August with an ODI series against Zimbabwe. They also have a T20I series planned against reigning champions West Indies and another much-hyped T20I campaign against India in October. The test season for Australia will start at the WACA where they will face Afghanistan for the first time in test cricket, followed by the much-anticipated Test series against India.
What about the T20 World Cup then?
The ICC has deferred its decision on the T20 World Cup to June 10. Initially, the board was meant to discuss whether or not to postpone the T20 World Cup, originally scheduled to be held in October. There have been reports recently where Australia have suggested that they want to host it at some point next year and let India postpone the 2021 T20 World Cup by a year.
However, Kevin Roberts, CEO of Cricket Australia, revealed in a recent interview that the prospect of the T20 World Cup not being held this year would cause a hit of AUD 20 million on the Australian Board.
No Australian players in the Indian T20 League?
If the Indian T20 League is to take place post-monsoon, then it is sure to clash with the Australian cricket summer. There’s a lot of ambiguity on the scheduling of the premier T20 league in the world, but if somehow the BCCI can pull it off then the Australian players could see themselves missing out on the action-packed T20 season.
In such a case, the franchises will have to do without the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith, Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn and various others through the season. Even though there are so many ifs and buts involved with this, there hasn’t been an official word from Cricket Australia regarding this topic.
The highlight of the Australian summer schedule
When Virat Kohli will march out with his team at the Gabba in December to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the whole world is sure to be glued to their television screens in anticipation. There might also be a chance that by the end of the year, fans will be allowed to enter the stadiums, though that decision rests heavily on the government regulations at that time.
The series will kickstart in Brisbane, a city that missed out on hosting the Indians in the previous edition. The second test at the Adelaide Oval will be a historical one as that will be India’s first pink-ball test down under, something that has become a traditional part of the Australian season. For the third test, the teams will move to the colossal Melbourne Cricket Ground and to sum it up, as usual, it will be the Sydney Cricket Ground that will host the final test of the series.
The WACA missed out on an opportunity to host the Indians and will have to be content with an ODI match. The Optus Stadium was the only ground where Australia managed to get the better of India in the previous series. The hosts will be eager for redemption after their last defeat and will be bolstered by the return of Steve Smith and David Warner, both of whom missed out last year due to suspension.
However, one needs to remember that this schedule released by Cricket Australia is a tentative one and a lot can change depending on how the Covid-19 situation develops over the next few months. Also, the series may have to adhere strictly to the new guidelines set out by the ICC Cricket Committee.
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