Australia's summer schedule released
Cricket Australia has finalised an international season heavy on limited-overs cricket, with Adelaide losing its semi-traditional Australia Day match to Sydney. Australia's home internationals will begin on November 5 when they play South Africa in the first T20 and with the World Cup dominating the February-March slot in Australia and New Zealand, it will be a long international season.
India are the only team playing Tests in Australia this summer and the first of four will begin at the Gabba on December 4, the latest start to Australia's home Test summer in 11 years. It had previously been determined that with only four Tests scheduled, the WACA would be the venue to lose a Test this year; Adelaide will host the second Test from December 12 before the traditional Boxing Day and New Year's Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.
But Adelaide's tradition of hosting an international on Australia Day has been ignored, with Australia to play India at the SCG in a one-day match on January 26, which is also India's Republic Day. That match is part of a tri-series that also features England; in total, Australia will play at least nine ODIs at home in the lead-up to the World Cup, which starts on February 14.
Cricket Australia has also released the domestic one-day and four-day schedule and while the BBL fixture is yet to be finalised, it has been confirmed that it will be cut back to 43 days from last year's bloated 50-day tournament. The domestic one-day tournament will open the season as it did last summer, although this time it will be held in Sydney and Brisbane rather than Sydney alone, as was the case in 2013-14.
It will also have a new name after spending four years as the Ryobi Cup; the competition will now be called the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup. An extra round of matches has also been factored in for the Matador Cup to help players push their cases in a World Cup year, and the tournament will run from October 4 to 26 before the Sheffield Shield begins with its first round on October 31.
Four Shield rounds will be played before the first Test against India, although they will not all be preparing players for Tests with the red ball. After trialling pink balls and day-night Shield cricket late last summer, Cricket Australia will again test the concept this season. This time, though, the day-night matches will make up round two of the Shield, from November 8 to 11, with games in Hobart, Perth and Adelaide.
Adelaide remains the most likely venue for Australia to host its first day-night Test, which could be as early as next summer against New Zealand. However, Hobart is also considered a possibility and Cricket Australia was keen to test day-night Shield cricket there this season after last year's trials took place in Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.
December 8 to February 7 will be a Shield-free zone as the BBL becomes the focus, with the Twenty20 tournament set to begin on December 18. Five Shield rounds will be played after the BBL, although the unavailability of major venues due to the World Cup has meant that secondary grounds such as Bankstown Oval, Allan Border Field and Glenelg's Gliderol Stadium will be used.
New South Wales will take two matches to regional parts of the state but Victoria faces a major scheduling issue as the MCG is its only ground currently approved for first-class cricket. There is a possibility Victoria will be forced to play three home games interstate if a Victorian venue cannot be found for the games against Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania in February-March.
Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said this summer had proved especially challenging to schedule due to the World Cup, which runs from February 14 to March 29 in Australia and New Zealand. The fixture was so complex that 72 drafts were required before the schedule was finalised.
Matador BBQs One-Day Cup
October 4: New South Wales v South Australia, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
October 4: Queensland v Victoria, Gabba
October 6: Queensland v New South Wales, Allan Border Field
October 6: Victoria v South Australia, Gabba
October 8: South Australia v Western Australia, Gabba
October 8: Tasmania v Victoria, Allan Border Field
October 10: New South Wales v Queensland, Gabba
October 11: Western Australia v Tasmania, Gabba
October 12: South Australia v Queensland, Allan Border Field
October 12: Victoria v New South Wales, North Sydney Oval
October 13: Tasmania v Western Australia, North Sydney Oval
October 14: Queensland v Victoria, North Sydney Oval
October 15: New South Wales v Western Australia, Drummoyne Oval
October 15: South Australia v Tasmania, Bankstown Oval
October 17: Victoria v New South Wales, Drummoyne Oval
October 17: Western Australia v South Australia, Bankstown Oval
October 18: Queensland v Tasmania, North Sydney Oval
October 19: Victoria v Western Australia, Drummoyne Oval
October 20: New South Wales v Tasmania, Drummoyne Oval
October 22: Tasmania v South Australia, North Sydney Oval
October 22: Western Australia v Queensland, Bankstown Oval
October 24: 2nd v 3rd, preliminary final, Drummoyne Oval
October 26: Final, SCG
October 31-November 2: Western Australia v Tasmania, WACA
October 31-November 2: Victoria v New South Wales, MCG
October 31-November 2: South Australia v Queensland, Adelaide Oval
November 8-11: Western Australia v Queensland, WACA (day-night)
November 8-11: Tasmania v Victoria, Bellerive Oval (day-night)
November 8-11: South Australia v New South Wales, Adelaide Oval (day-night)
November 16-19: Tasmania v Western Australia, Bellerive Oval
November 16-19: South Australia v Victoria, Adelaide Oval
November 16-19: Queensland v New South Wales, Gabba
November 25-28: Victoria v Western Australia, MCG
November 25-28: Queensland v Tasmania, Allan Border Field
November 25-28: New South Wales v South Australia, SCG
December 5-8: Western Australia v Victoria, WACA
December 5-8: Tasmania v South Australia, Bellerive Oval
December 5-8: New South Wales v Queensland, SCG
February 7-10: Western Australia v South Australia, WACA
February 7-10: Tasmania v New South Wales, Bellerive Oval
February 7-10: Queensland v Victoria, Gabba
February 16-19: Tasmania v Queensland, Bellerive Oval
February 16-19: South Australia v Western Australia, Gliderol Stadium, Glenelg
February 16-19: New South Wales v Victoria, Regional NSW (venue TBC)
February 24-27: Victoria v Queensland, TBC
February 24-27: South Australia v Tasmania, Gliderol Stadium
February 24-27: New South Wales v Western Australia, Regional NSW (venue TBC)
March 5-8: Victoria v South Australia, TBC
March 5-8: Queensland v Western Australia, Allan Border Field
March 5-8: New South Wales v Tasmania, Bankstown Oval
March 13-16: Western Australia v New South Wales, WACA
March 13-16: Victoria v Tasmania, TBC
March 13-16: Queensland v South Australia, Gabba
March 21-25: Sheffield Shield final
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale