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Pakistan returns for pink ball Test at Adelaide Oval

Cricket

Day-night Test cricket will return to Adelaide Oval in November, with Pakistan returning to play its first Test match at the venue for nearly thirty years.

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The 2019-20 international schedule released by Cricket Australia today show the Second Test with Pakistan, starting Friday November 29, will be the fourth day-night Test at the Oval.

SACA CEO Keith Bradshaw welcomed the news.

“SACA and Cricket Australia’s preference was for Adelaide Oval to host another day-night Test match this year, so we are really pleased that Pakistan has agreed to the format,” he said.

“There’s no doubt crowds and broadcast numbers are bigger for the day-night games. All three previous pink ball Tests set attendance records for the competing countries at Adelaide Oval.

“It’s hard to believe Pakistan has not played a Test match at Adelaide Oval since early 1990 – it will be great to welcome them back.”

Adelaide Oval will also host a T20 match between Australia and Sri Lanka on Sunday 27 October.

“There will be an early start to our international season with the T20 game… but it’s the first men’s international game of the season so I’m confident SACA members and cricket fans will support the game,” Bradshaw said.

Cricket Australia will host a trans-Tasman ODI series in mid-March next year, having extended the international season beyond summer after failing to change dates of a tour of India.

New Zealand will face Tim Paine’s Australia side in a Perth day-night Test beginning on December 12 plus the summer’s showpiece MCG and SCG Tests, before they return for a three-match ODI series in Sydney and Hobart that starts on March 13.

The 2015 World Cup final was held at the MCG on March 29 but the international season is generally over by the end of summer.

Not since 1979 has Australia hosted a men’s international match – outside of a major tournament – so late in the season.

CA hoped to schedule the trans-Tasman ODI series in January but Aaron Finch’s team will instead travel to the subcontinent during that month, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refusing to budge on dates.

“We evaluated different options for an alternative and saw the most value in the March opportunity,” CA’s head of cricket operations Peter Roach said.

“Cricket Australia took the position that while January was our preference for these ODI matches, there are times we need to honour our commitments to work in the greater context of international cricket scheduling.

“Scheduling international cricket is challenging in that nine of the 10 major cricketing countries have seasons similar to ours, so working with them to find space in the calendar to fulfil our obligations to the ICC Future Tours Program is a juggling act.”

The women’s T20 World Cup final is at the MCG on March 8, with CA keen to ensure there is no overlap between that event and the men’s ODI series.

Meg Lanning’s team will warm up for the World Cup with limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka at North Sydney Oval and Brisbane’s Allan Border Field, starting on September 29.

Australia will also host a women’s T20 tri-series involving India and England (January 31-February 12) in Melbourne and Canberra before turning their attention to the World Cup.

-with AAP

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