In a recent development, it is now being reported that Cricket Australia (CA) is mulling to announce the schedule next week for the 2021-22 cricketing season. Understandably, the most talked about series remains the battle for the urn - the historic Ashes. The jam-packed international season will commence in October and the players will hardly have a time for a breather until February 2022. Although, the final dates are yet to be confirmed, it is likely that the Ashes will take place somewhere in December-January.
The series is likely to commence from December 9 at the Gabba, Brisbane and is then expected to move to Adelaide for a day-night Test. While it is to be noted that the hosts had not lost a Test at the Gabba in 32 years before India stunned them at their impregnable fortress in January this year. However, they would still fancy their chances at a venue where they have a fantastic record. In addition, Australia have ended up on the winning side in all eight of their Tests under lights and if this indeed happens to be the schedule, it would be clear that CA are pretty adamant on defending the urn. In addition, a December 9 start would allow for the two Tests to start on a Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Melbourne and Sydney to retain Boxing Day and New Year’s Test
The traditional Boxing Day Test is likely to happen at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with Sydney hosting the New Year's Test. However, the SCG Test will start on January 5, allowing players a bit of a break. The big news coming through various media reports is that the final Test, which is usually hosted in Sydney is likely to happen in Perth with a tentative starting date of January 14. Notably, this is the first time that Ashes finale will happen outside of Sydney since 1995.
Afghanistan Test to serve as Ashes warm-up
Meanwhile, the Australian players, especially those playing all forms of cricket, will have to use the Afghanistan Test as a warm-up for the all important Ashes. Although the players usually participate in a Sheffield Shield match to gear up for a Test series the two weeks’ quarantine after the Twenty20 World Cup scheduled in India would make it difficult this time around,.