Australia reveal dates for international summer; India Tests to commence in December
Cricket Australia have announced the full schedule of a jam-packed home season for the 2020-21 summer with India's much-anticipated Test tour serving as the centrepiece of the spate of fixtures.
However, CA CEO Kevin Roberts admitted plans remained in flux due to the changing intensity of the coronavirus crisis, which has drastically impacted the sporting calendar.
Australia will take on Zimbabwe, West Indies, Afghanistan, India and New Zealand across formats with the T20 World Cup set to be conducted in October and November.
"We know that circumstances or events beyond our control could mean that the final schedule potentially may look different to the one released today," Roberts said.
"But we'll be doing everything we can to get as much international cricket in as possible this summer."
The lucrative Test series against India begins on December 3 in Brisbane followed by the inaugural day-night Border-Gavaskar Test in Adelaide.
The avidly celebrated Boxing Day and New Year's Tests will take place in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
The stakes are high for the two teams as Australia recently dethroned India in the ICC Test rankings whereas Virat Kohli's side leads the World Test Championship table.
The series is also expected to generate significant revenue for the host organisation that has been struggling with financial losses incurred during the coronavirus shutdown.
It had emerged that Australia was planning to add a fifth Test against India, hoping to ditch the historic one-off encounter against Test cricket's newcomers Afghanistan. This idea has not entirely received the backing of India given the risk of an extended quarantine period for players.
"We are engaged in ongoing discussions with federal and state governments, our venues and the touring nations to continually understand and monitor the situation in front of us, which is evolving every day," Roberts said.
International cricket in Australia could resume as soon as August, though confirmation of the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe will be conveyed at a later date.
Before the T20 World Cup, Australia will be welcoming the West Indies and India for short-form contests as part of the preparations for the marquee event.
ODIs against Zimbabwe
Aug 9 - Australia v Zimbabwe 1st ODI at venue TBA
Aug 12 - Australia v Zimbabwe 2nd ODI at venue TBA
Aug 15 - Australia v Zimbabwe 3rd ODI in Townsville
T20Is against West Indies
Oct 4 - Australia v West Indies 1st T20 in Townsville
Oct 6 - Australia v West Indies 2nd T20 in Cairns
Oct 9 - Australia v West Indies 3rd T20 in Gold Coast
T20Is against India
Oct 11 - Australia v India 1st T20 in Brisbane
Oct 14 - Australia v India 2nd T20 in Canberra
Oct 17 - Australia v India 3rd T20 in Adelaide
One-off Test against Afghanistan
Nov 21-25 - Australia v Afghanistan, only Test in Perth
Tests against India
Dec 3-7 - Australia v India 1st Test in Brisbane
Dec 11-15 - Australia v India 2nd Test in Adelaide
Dec 26-30 - Australia v India 3rd Test in Melbourne
Jan 3-7 - Australia v India 4th Test in Sydney
ODIs against India
Jan 12 - Australia v India 1st ODI in Perth
Jan 15 - Australia v India 2nd ODI in Melbourne
Jan 17 - Australia v India 3rd ODI in Sydney
ODIs and T20I against New Zealand
Jan 26 - Australia v New Zealand 1st ODI in Adelaide
Jan 29 - Australia v New Zealand 2nd ODI in Canberra
Jan 31 - Australia v New Zealand 3rd ODI in Hobart
Feb 2 - Australia v New Zealand only T20 in Sydney