Melbourne [Australia]: Cricket Australia has revamped the schedule for the upcoming 50-over domestic competition as the fixtures were announced on Tuesday.
The tournament will now be played in three different parts. The Marsh one-day Cup will commence from September 21, and it will be followed by the Sheffield Shield which is slated to commence from October 10.
The remainder of the competition, comprising 11 games, will be played in late October and mid-November. The final of the competition will take place on November 26.
Earlier, the tournament was not divided into three parts and it used to be played at one go.
“We’ve listened to the states, territories, the ACA and players on what is going to make our cricket system stronger. For the men’s One-Day Cup, the key priorities were to play matches in more than one block, have them played on bigger grounds, ideally at our major venues, and play some more matches overall. We believe we have been able to meet these priorities,” Kemar Roach, Cricket Australia’s head of cricket operations said in an official statement.
“From a timing point of view, we need to ensure that we play matches at times of the season to best present and prepare our players for international cricket. At the same time, we need to ensure there is appropriate rest periods between matches and the right opportunities for players to participate in Premier Cricket,” he added.
Marsh One Day Cup will have seven matches per team whereas, in the Sheffield Cup, each team will play six matches prior to Christmas.
Cricket Australia also announced the England Lions men’s team will be touring Australia in February and early March, and they will play five one-day games and three four-day Test matches.