Australia alter summer schedule to satisfy India

Cricket Australia has been forced to change the recent tradition of staging the concluding Tests of its major series in Melbourne and Sydney following negotiations with the India board. The 2007-08 season will take on a different feel after India, who are due to play Pakistan in November, insisted the first match of the four-Test contest would take place in Melbourne on Boxing Day. It will be followed by the New Year fixture in Sydney and games in Adelaide and Perth to decide the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

The large-scale reordering means the annual one-day tri-series, which usually starts in January, will begin in February and finish in March. Sri Lanka will open the Australian summer with two Tests in Brisbane and Hobart in November and return for the one-day tournament with the hosts and India. New Zealand will visit for three Chappell-Hadlee Series fixtures and a Twenty20 in December.

"Our competitors' global commitments create challenges for scheduling," Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's operations manager, said. Australia face a hectic program over the next 18 months, starting with the Twenty20 world championship in South Africa in September, a possible one-day tour of Zimbabwe and a limited-overs series in India. They are also expected to play 20 Tests in 2008.

Australia will stage two Twenty20 matches next season, with games against New Zealand in Perth and India at the MCG. Canberra will host its first ODI since 1992 when India and Sri Lanka play there during the CB Series as part of Cricket Australia's expansion program.

Hobart will get two international games - a Test and an ODI - while the Northern Territory is covered by the five Australia-New Zealand women's matches for the Rose Bowl in July. Tickets for all of Australia's international matches are expected to go on sale in July.

2007-08 Australian itinerary

Australia v Sri Lanka
1st Test, Brisbane, November 8-12
2nd Test, Hobart, November 16-20

Chappell-Hadlee Series
1st ODI, Adelaide, December 14
2nd ODI, Sydney, December 16
3rd ODI, Hobart, December 20

Australia v India
1st Test, Melbourne, December 26-30
2nd Test, Sydney, January 2-6
3rd Test, Perth, January 16-20
4th Test, Adelaide, January 24-28

Australia v New Zealand, Perth, December 11
Australia v India, Melbourne, February 1

CB Series
Australia, Sri Lanka, India
February 3-March 7