Cricket Australia on Thursday afternoon announced their entire international schedule for the 2020-21 summer for both the men's and the women's team which clearly implied the board's confidence that they can go ahead staging international cricket even amid rising concern over the coronavirus pandemic. The schedule begins from August this year to February next year with CA chief Kevin Roberts clarifying that it may be subjected to changes owing to the pandemic.
"While acknowledging the difficulty in navigating a global pandemic, we are nonetheless encouraged by the progress Australia is making in combating the coronavirus and the positive impact that is having on our ability to host an exciting summer of cricket in 2020-21," Roberts said in a statement.
"We know that circumstances or events beyond our control could mean that the final schedule potentially may look different to the one released today, but we'll be doing everything we can to get as much international cricket in as possible this summer.
"We will communicate any changes to the schedule if or when they are required."
While they begin their campaign against Zimbabwe in a three-ODI contest, the highlight of the summer, besides the still-uncertain World T20, remains the tour of India for three T20Is, four Tests and finally three ODIs.
"We are working closely with the BCCI to deliver the eagerly anticipated men's and women's tours, and we are looking forward to staging the important series against both the men's and women's New Zealand sides," Roberts said.
The tour begins with the three T20 Internationals with the opener in Gabba on October 11. The second and the third will be played on October 14 in Canberra and October 17 at the Adelaide Oval, respectively. This series will be played right before the World T20 which begin from October 18 onwards to November 15.
This will be followed by the four Tests as part of the Border-Gavaskar series. The opener will be played at the Gabba, where the Aussies haven't lost a Test since 1988, followed by a pink-ball contest at the Adelaide. The Boxing Day Test and the New Year's Test will be played in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.
The tour will eventually finish with the ODI series which be played between January 22 and 28 at Canberra, Melbourne and Hobart.
Here's the full schedule:
Men's T20 INTL Series v India
First T20: October 11, the Gabba, Brisbane
Second T20: October 14, Manuka Oval, Canberra
Third T20: October 17, Adelaide Oval
Men's Test Series v India
First Test: December 3-7, the Gabba, Brisbane
Second Test: December 11-15, Adelaide Oval (day-night)
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 3-7, SCG
Men's ODI Series v India
First ODI: January 12, Perth Stadium
Second ODI: January 15, MCG
Third ODI: January 17, SCG
Roberts, however, did not clarify if the matches during the summer will be played in empty stadiums or whether crowd will be present.
"We will continue to assess whether it is possible for them to attend matches in person, however, if it is not deemed possible, we already have a solid blueprint in place," he said.
"We will not rush any decisions however it's crucial for us all to have a blueprint to work from to deliver cricket safely.
"Australian cricket will survive and thrive after the coronavirus pandemic dissipates, just as we have after world wars, depressions, recessions and the many other challenges that have confronted us over the past 140-plus years."