The Boxing Day Test will go ahead at its traditional home of the MCG, Cricket Australia has confirmed, as details for India’s summer tour were finally released on Wednesday.
Virat Kohli’s side will kick off the men’s international summer – worth around $300m to CA – with the first two of three ODI matches on 27 and 29 November at the SCG. Canberra’s Manuka Oval will host the final 50-over game on 2 December.
A three-match T20 international series then follows at Manuka Oval (4 December) and the SCG (6 and 8 December) before Adelaide Oval hosts the first Test – a day-night match starting on 17 December.
Melburnians will then be able to celebrate the easing of lockdown restrictions when the traditional Boxing Day Test is held at the MCG, with discussions under way over how many fans can safely be allowed to attend.
The second Test will go ahead in Sydney from 7 January – slightly later than the SCG’s usual start date – before the fourth Test in Brisbane commences on 15 January.
“The safety of the Australian community and all participants is our highest priority and we will continue to work with governments across Australia to ensure the schedule proceeds in line with relevant directions and biosecurity protocols,” said Nick Hockley, CA’s interim CEO.
“In relation to the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, we are working with the Victorian Government and the Melbourne Cricket Club on plans to safely host spectators at the iconic event with details to be confirmed in due course.”
India’s squad will arrive in Sydney on 12 November subject to Australian Border Force travel authorisation and the appropriate departure-approvals. The tourists will then quarantine in Sydney prior to the first ODI.
“Across all three formats, Australia and India represents one of the great rivalries in world sport and we are delighted to welcome Virat Kohli’s outstanding squad to Australian shores this summer,” said Hockley.
“We have worked closely with the BCCI for many months to bring this tour to life, and I cannot speak more highly of the professional, thorough and collaborative manner with which they have approached this tour in these extraordinary and complex times.”
CA had initially planned for India to quarantine in Queensland before starting the tour there. However, after waiting in vain for weeks for Queensland authorities to endorse their tour proposal, CA switched focus to New South Wales and secured a quick approval from the state.
Once the home summer has concluded, Australia will return to South Africa for the first time since the infamous ball-tampering scandal tour of 2018 when they arrive in February for a three-Test series.
Exact dates and venues are yet to be confirmed, although the series will conclude in March.
Australia won the opening Test in 2018 but ultimately lost the four-match series 3-1. The Proteas will also host England from late November in limited overs matches, Sri Lanka for a two-Test showdown around the turn of the year and close out their home campaign against Pakistan in three ODIs and three T20s during a busy summer of cricket in South Africa.
“We are delighted to announce the schedule of men’s international cricket for the home season,” CSA acting CEO Kugandrie Govender said. “It is an absolute pleasure to deliver more good news for our cricket-loving fans to consume… The Covid-19 pandemic predictably forced many changes to… the traditional sequencing of scheduling matches in South Africa this season.”
India’s tour of Australia schedule
Friday, 27 November: Sydney Cricket Ground
Sunday, 29 November: Sydney Cricket Ground
Wednesday, 2 December: Manuka Oval, Canberra
Friday, 4 December: Manuka Oval
Sunday, 6 December: Sydney Cricket Ground
Tuesday, 8 December: Sydney Cricket Ground
First Test, 17-21 December: Adelaide Oval (day-night)
Second Test, 26-30 December: Melbourne Cricket Ground
Third Test, 7-11 January: Sydney Cricket Ground
Fourth Test, 15-19 January: The Gabba, Brisbane
India A v Australia A, 6-8 December: Drummoyne Oval, Sydney
India v Australia A, 11-13 December: Sydney Cricket Ground