Cricket Australia (CA) has released the schedule for the year-end Ashes Test series comprising of five matches. The much-awaited series is set to begin on December 8 at Brisbane’s Gabba. CA also released the schedule for a multi-format women’s Ashes that will be played shortly after the conclusion of the men’s Test series, including one Test, three ODIs, and three T20Is.
The series opener will be played at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, where the hosts have only lost once since 1988. Earlier this year, India broke Australia’s domination at Gabba to win the Border Gavaskar Trophy. The Test at Gabba will be followed by the only day-night Test at Adelaide Oval. The six-week-long series will be concluded in Perth at the new Optus Stadium.
The newly released delayed dates come as a result of the pandemic and the consequent travel restrictions, imposing compulsory quarantine protocols to be followed by players. As per these protocols, they will have to isolate themselves for almost half a month. For Ashes particularly, the dates were pushed further due to a delayed start to the T20 World Cup that is set to be played in India during October and November.
Before the series with England, Australia is also scheduled to play their first-ever red-ball series with Afghanistan at home, starting from November 27. This series was earlier scheduled for 2020-21 and pushed a year further due to the pandemic.
Some of the English Test players will be travelling to Australia in advance, along with the ones associated with the T20 World Cup squad. As for the warmup matches, the schedule is yet to decide by CA, as well as whether fans from overseas could be part of the crowd. Nick Hockley did hint that English fans could be back in stadiums, but the Australian government will have the final say.
Dec 8-12: First Test, The Gabba
Dec 16-20: Second Test, Adelaide Oval
Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG
Jan 5-9: Fourth Test, SCG
Jan 14-18: Fifth Test, Perth Stadium
Jan 27-30: Test match, Manuka Oval
Feb 4: First T20, North Sydney Oval
Feb 6: Second T20, North Sydney Oval
Feb 10: Third T20, Adelaide Oval
Feb 13: First ODI, Adelaide Oval
Feb 16: Second ODI, Junction Oval
Feb 19: Third ODI, Junction Oval