For the first time in six seasons, the Sheffield Sheild will have no pink-ball fixtures, it was announced on Thursday (June 21).
The first of five rounds will kick-off earlier than usual, on October 16, with Test aspirants having as many as five rounds to make a claim for their inclusion in the Test side ahead of the first Test against India on December 6.
The first-half of the season will be played with red balls, while the second-half will have English-manufactured Dukes balls being used.
In addition, the JLT One-Day Cup that will begin on September 16 in Townsville with Queensland and Victoria, has been revamped to have only six participating teams, with them doing away with Cricket Australia XI in the competition.
The tweaked one-day cup’s format now has the six teams partaking in knockout fixtures; the sixth-placed team play the third-placed one, and fourth play fifth. The winner of each game will progress to semifinals against the top two teams. The final is slated for October 10 in Melbourne.
The CA XI will be involved in three men’s and two women’s tour matches across red and white-ball formats through the season. The men’s CA XI will first be up against South Africa in the lead-up to their three-match ODI series in November, and in three-day fixtures against India and Sri Lanka respectively, in warm-up fixtures ahead of their Test series, while the women’s CA XI, ahead of New Zealand’s tour of Australia for a T20I series that begins on September 29, will play back-to-back T20s against both the sides in Sydney on September 27.
For the women’s competitions, the Women’s National Cricket League that will kick-off on September 16 at Bill Pippen Oval on the Gold Coast, will be held over three weekends in September, November and February respectively, with the final scheduled for February 9.
Although India refused to play a pink-ball Test, Sri Lanka will partake in a day-night fixture in their two-Test series, at the Gabba on January 24. It was also announced that Perth’s new stadium will host a Shield game between Western Australia and New South Wales, before it hosts India for its maiden Test from December 14.
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