Australia news April 20, 2016

Canberra to host a Test in 2018-19

ESPNcricinfo staff

Canberra Oval will become Australia's tenth Test cricket venue © Associated Press

Manuka Oval in Canberra will host Test cricket for the first time in 2018-19, when it will become Australia's tenth Test venue. Sri Lanka are Australia's likely opponent for the inaugural Canberra Test, a match that will provide Australia with its first new Test ground since 2003, when both Darwin and Cairns were added to the list for a Top-End series also against Bangladesh.

Canberra first hosted an ODI during the 1992 World Cup but was then shelved as an international ground until 2008; since then it has hosted a further seven one-day internationals and an eighth is scheduled for this coming summer against New Zealand. Its status as a cricket city has grown significantly in recent years, having hosted the Sheffield Shield final in 2014 and the BBL final in 2015.

"Over several years, Canberra has demonstrated a strong appetite for international cricket, with consistently strong crowds coming to Manuka Oval for one-day international matches," Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said. "Today's announcement recognises the continued growth of the sport not only in the ACT but the wider region, and is a testament to the effort being placed on participation in the territory with more than 32,000 playing cricket last season and this season on track for further increases.

"Part of our charter is to showcase the game to as many cricket fans around the nation to encourage growth, and with more than one million people living in the ACT and Southern NSW region, we believe there is a great advantage in Canberra hosting a Test Match and that's one of the reasons that we will host a Test match in Canberra in 2018-19."

India are due to tour Australia for four Tests and Sri Lanka for two during the 2018-19 season, which would mean one of the six state capitals would miss out on a Test in order for Canberra to fit into the schedule. Hobart would be the likely candidate to be cut, with Perth's new multi-sport stadium expected to be open by early 2018 and likely to host a Test against India.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • balasubramaniam on April 22, 2016, 15:02 GMT

    Both India and Sri Lanka are touring Australia in the same season ??? Good Heavens I hope what I fear the most doesn't happen. Please have mercy on us.

  • hayden on April 22, 2016, 5:14 GMT

    @SMUDGEON great idea about the waca! your right afl free zone and would love to see a bouncy green top in the perth winter months!!!

  • karthik on April 21, 2016, 8:58 GMT

    @A.Jayawardene. You guys have performed poorer than India in overseas conditions .go and check the facts.And you guys won 1-0 in a 2 match test series in england. If we played a 2 match test series we would also have won 1-0 as we beat england on a grassy pitch at Lords.

  • wayne on April 21, 2016, 6:59 GMT

    Thanks Redneck, I wasn't that anyone had been pencilled in for the Australian winter (although what I see has Aus touring Zim in July 2018. rather than Zim touring Aus), and you're right - playing in the Aus winter means there's a chance they will host in the north. They may also look at the WACA hosting a Test, seeing as it's an AFL-free zone.

  • rob on April 21, 2016, 4:20 GMT

    Yes this is good news and it is a nice ground. I agree with @SamRoy that the pitch is a touch too flat but I reckon it would be a great ground for a day/night test. If they did what they did in Adelaide it's a sure fire hit imo.

  • hayden on April 21, 2016, 1:21 GMT

    @SIRVIV1973 the ftp has bangledesh and zimbabwe touring in the australian winter in 2017 and 2018 i suspect they will be played in darwin and cairns. however i believe the afl own the cairns ground now so who knows???? maybe alice springs but again, its dependent on when the afl schedule the 2 or 3 matches they play in the NT.

  • Peter on April 20, 2016, 14:47 GMT

    Good news. They need a shield team now to soak up the excess from NSW

  • Abdul on April 20, 2016, 14:15 GMT

    Whenever a new touring party arrives in Australia, I hope with all my heart that Cricket Australia was generous enough to spare a match of any format for Manuka Oval. Not a lot of international matches are played here in Canberra, but whenever one does come its always a treat to go and spectate. South Africa's 411.. West Indies' 372 (with Gayles double tonne)..Australia's 348 and India's 323 a few months back.. Will make sure to get my tickets for this test match ASAP!

  • wayne on April 20, 2016, 14:15 GMT

    SirViv1973 - I suspect that the crowds and TV audience weren't enough to maintain the top-end series as an ongoing concern, although admittedly the games were played in the middle of the year and it's tough to get people to switch over the telly from AFL/Rugby during that time. Plus, Cairns is no longer ICC accredited. I suspect it'll be some time before international cricket heads back north, though it is a shame - I think it would be great conditioning for sub-continent tours.

  • exhil on April 20, 2016, 12:10 GMT

    @smudgeon you say 'though, and there's still a slim chance that the SL tour will include three tests' hope SLC Board will be smart enough to persuade with the Aussies to grab this slim chance.

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