By SAT Sports Desk
Melbourne, 20 April: Australia is likely to have an exciting Cricket season in 2016-17 season with four nations touring Australia next summer to contest up to 41 days of international cricket across Test, one-day international and T20 international formats.
South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will each visit Australian shores during the 2016-17 season.
In a break from tradition, the international summer will begin in Perth on 3 November when Australia’s number-one ranked Test team takes on the world’s third-ranked nation, South Africa, in the first Commonwealth Bank Test at the WACA Ground.
The three-match series against the Proteas will continue in Hobart (12-16 November) before a potential day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval (24-28 November), the scene of last summer’s inaugural day-night Test that resulted in record crowds and record television audiences.
From 15 December, Australia will face Pakistan in three Commonwealth Bank Tests, starting in Brisbane (15-19 December) where the Gabba will host its first Day-Night, pink ball Test encounter. This will be the first time Brisbane will host a Test match in the school holiday period, as Cricket Australia focuses on trying to improve access to fans.
The Commonwealth Bank Test series will continue across the traditional Australian holiday period in Melbourne (26-30 December) and Sydney (3-7 January). Both matches will be traditional day matches.
Fans will get an earlier taste of limited overs action, with Australia seeking to reclaim the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy from New Zealand in a three-match Victoria Bitter One-Day International series to be held in Sydney (4 December), Canberra (6 December) and Melbourne (9 December).
It is the first of two series against the Blackcaps on either side of the Tasman during the summer, with the two sides playing the return leg of three ODIs in New Zealand in early 2017.
Steve Smith’s men will continue their contest with Pakistan in a five-match series of Victoria Bitter One-Day Internationals in Brisbane (13 January), Melbourne (15 January), Perth (19 January), Sydney (22 January) and Adelaide (26 January).
At the conclusion of the summer, Sri Lanka will visit Australia for three KFC T20 Internationals on 17, 19 and 22 February, with venues to be confirmed.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said: “We believe that there is something for all cricket fans in the upcoming program.
“We have two highly-regarded Test nations in South Africa and Pakistan touring Australia this summer and both series promise to be great contests.
“The decision to start the international season in Perth allows us to do so with a bang. It gives Western Australian cricket fans, including a strong local South African community, the chance to see two of the world’s best sides, while allowing us to broadcast the match in prime time to the east coast of Australia.
“We are working with Cricket South Africa with a view to ensuring that the Adelaide Test is a Day-Night Test. With more than 123,000 people attending and an average of two million watching on television last season, there is enormous expectation that we deliver another pink ball Test match this summer in Adelaide.
“Understandably, there is some concern from the South African players, but Day-Night Test cricket is all about the fans and a Day-Night match in Adelaide will be a bigger Test match crowd than the South African players will have ever experienced.
“The success of Adelaide last year demonstrates the huge potential the day-night format has in revitalizing Test cricket all over the world, and it’s for that reason that it is our desire to stage another Test under lights at that venue.
“We believe that having the ability to move matches into the evenings provides cricket fans with greater access to the game, both at the ground and at home on TV, and there is no doubt that this will help grow interest in Test cricket.
“Even for cricket fans at home in South Africa there are benefits. The Day-Night Test hours will allow the match to be televised in a far more attractive time of day in South Africa.”
Mr Sutherland said the summer would see Hobart host the highly-rated South Africans for the first time in Test cricket.
“We have worked very closely with Cricket Tasmania to provide some certainty over match content for the coming years, which we hope will grow interest and demand for attending international matches at Blundstone Arena, which is now a truly world-class venue.
“This year’s match between Australia and South Africa presents a great opportunity for Tasmanian cricket fans to see two of the world’s great teams in action. We know how much Tasmanian’s love their cricket and we hope to see them in full force for this great fixture.”
“This is a vital match for Australia and we know that the team will want to see a big turnout from Tasmanians to support them.”
Commenting on the Commonwealth Bank Brisbane Test, Mr Sutherland said:
“The Brisbane Test is a very important occasion on the Australian cricket calendar and in 2016 we will mark the 85th anniversary of the first Test played at the Gabba.
“Given the significance of the Brisbane Test to Australian cricket, we have looked at ways to draw larger attendances for that match, aiming to attract crowds more befitting of a city with a proud cricket heritage.
“In partnership with Queensland Cricket, we’ve explored a number of options for boosting the appeal of the Test match. We think staging it at the beginning of the holiday period when more parents and kids can get to the game is certainly worth trialing.
“We also believe that Queensland’s climate really lends itself to Test cricket in day-night conditions, making for a great fan experience.
“We’ve had a number of pink ball trials under lights in Brisbane and believe that the time is right to stage a Day-Night Test at the Gabba, adding another chapter to international cricket in Queensland.
“Pakistan should be applauded for committing to and supporting the Day-Night Test initiative. Currently ranked fourth in the ICC Test Rankings, they’ll be looking to gain some movement up the ladder, particularly with Tests against England and the West Indies prior to coming to Australia.
“Their current bowling line up will put our batsmen to the test and I have no doubt this will be their major strength in the series. Day-Night Test cricket, combined with this attack, will promise fans an exciting spectacle and we look forward to seeing a packed Gabba to welcome them.”
Melbourne and Sydney
“The Boxing Day and New Year Tests are much-loved traditions in both Melbourne and Sydney and an iconic part of the Australian sporting calendar and we expect this support to continue against Pakistan, particularly with the great support we saw for Pakistan when they toured during the World Cup.
“Fans will get an early taste of one-day international action, with Australia seeking to reclaim the
Chappell-Hadlee Trophy from New Zealand in a Victoria Bitter ODI three-match series, with the first match to be held in Sydney on 4 December.
“The clash between Australia and New Zealand at the MCG is sure to be an exciting cricket spectacle made even more memorable for the fact that it marks the first time the two sides have met at the MCG since the thrilling final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
“Both cities will also host Pakistan in the Victoria Bitter ODI Series which follows the Sydney New Year Test from mid-January.”
Tickets to the 2016-17 international summer of cricket will go on sale from the 31 May 2016. For priority access and a 20% discount on gold and platinum seats, fans are encouraged to sign up to the Australian Cricket Family at www.cricket.com.au/acf before Sunday 22 May 2016. Membership is free.
Cricket Australia Official Hospitality is now on sale for the 2016-17 International Season. New for Season 2016-17 is a family lounge that means guests can enjoy world class cricket hospitality with the whole family. For more information visit www.cricket.com.au/hospitality
To view the full 2016-17 men’s international fixture visit www.cricket.com.au/series
-SAT News Service.