Cricket 2018-19 fixture: 'Never say never' to a day-night MCG Test
Cricket Victoria chief Andrew Ingleton admits you can "never say never" to the prospect of a day-night Test at the MCG but does not expect any change in the immediate future.
The MCG will retain its traditional Boxing Day Test this summer when India visit, with only the one pink-ball Test officially locked in, at the Gabba when Sri Lanka tour later in the summer.
Cricket Australia released its 2018-19 international schedule on Monday and remains only hopeful a day-night Test against India will be held in Adelaide. As reported by Fairfax Media, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has concerns a pink-ball Test will give Australia an unfair advantage.
Prime-time telecasts of the Big Bash League would complicate any thought of a day-night Test in Melbourne but Ingleton did not rule out an eventual change.
"You never say never. I think it's worth understanding whether you can play a day-night Test at the MCG but it's a great tradition as it is and I think people will enjoy turning up Boxing Day morning with their turkey sandwiches," he said.
This summer will see international cricket head to the Gold Coast for the first time when Metricon Stadium hosts South Africa in a Twenty20 international and Canberra host its inaugural Test, against Sri Lanka, ensuring the campaign extends into February.
The cricket schedule for 2018/19 has been released.
Australia, missing the suspended Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, will open its international campaign with a short-form series against South Africa, then turn its attention to four Tests against India and two against Sri Lanka.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said the governing body was always looking for new venues.
“We welcome the chance to showcase international cricket on the Gold Coast and Canberra this summer and to provide even more fans with the opportunity to experience these matches in person," he said.
The summer opens with a one-day clash between Australia and the Proteas in Perth on November 4. Perth Stadium will then host its maiden Test from December 14 when India visit. The first Test against India begins in Adelaide on December 6.
"We are in discussions with the Indian board about that. We haven't got to a landing spot. Clearly, our preference is for the Adelaide Test to be played as a day-night Test match. It's not the end of the world if it's not but, at the same time, we believe Adelaide lends itself as a great day-night venue," Sutherland said.
The series finishes with the traditional Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and the new year's Test in Sydney, beginning January 3.
“The Border-Gavaskar Trophy promises to be a bumper series and it will be headlined by the world-famous Boxing Day Test at the MCG. There, we will also deliver a large-scale community festival in partnership with the Victorian government, which will be a terrific celebration of Indian culture," Sutherland said.
There will be three one-day internationals against India in a seven-day window in January, giving time for the international stars to play in the Big Bash League.
The two-Test series against Sri Lanka begins under lights in Brisbane over the Australia Day weekend from January 24 – the Gabba was home to a pink-ball clash against Pakistan in 2016 – before shifting to Canberra, from February 1. Hobart has been the major loser of Canberra's rise.
“Our men’s international season structure changes slightly this summer, with one-day and T20 international matches against South Africa and India in November. This will be a win for fans, with reduced overlap with the Big Bash,” Sutherland said.
The BBL is expected to continue into mid February, allowing Australia's Test stars to return and play in the finals.
The Australian women's team will open the summer with T20 internationals against New Zealand, beginning at North Sydney Oval from September 29. These will be the first internationals televised as part of the new $1.2 billion broadcast rights deal with Fox Sports and Channel Seven. Seven's coverage of the first match will follow the AFL grand final earlier that day.
The women will then head to the West Indies for the World T20 campaign in West Indies, before returning home for a one-day series against New Zealand in February.
The men's and women's Big Bash League fixtures have yet to be confirmed.
Test series: Australia v India
Adelaide: December 6-10 (CA hoping for day-night Test)
Perth: December 14-18
Melbourne: December 26-30
Sydney: January 3-7
Australia v Sri Lanka
Brisbane (day-night Test): January 24-28
Canberra: February 1-5
Australia v South Africa
First ODI: Perth Stadium, November 4
Second ODI: Adelaide Oval, November 9
Third ODI: Blundstone Arena, Hobart, November 11
T20: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast, November 17
ODI series v India
First ODI: Sydney, January 12
Second ODI: Adelaide, January 15
Third ODI: Melbourne, January 18
Women's T20 internationals:
First T20: North Sydney Oval, September 29
Second T20: Allan Border Field, Brisbane, October 1
Third T20: Manuka Oval, Canberra, October 5
Women's one-day internationals:
First ODI: WACA Ground, February 22
Second ODI: Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide, February 24
Tour match: GG's XI v NZ, Drummoyne Oval, February 28
Third ODI: Junction Oval, Melbourne, March 3
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