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Monday, June 13, 2011

Set for Brisbane, Hobart Black Caps tests




Cricket Australia today unveiled their southern summer program which begins with a check match between Australia and New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane from December 1-5.

The Black Caps will play tests against Australia in Brisbane and Hobart in December, Cricket Australia revealed today.

That will be followed by a second check at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart from December 9-13.
While the trans-Tasman trophy will be up for grabs in the longest kind of the game, there is no room in the calendar for the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series.

It was impossible to stage it in February because New Zealand are hosting South Africa while Australia have also reverted to the traditional ODI Tri-Series after a four-test series against India.

The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy has diminished in importance since its beginning in 2004-05 - last summer it was retained by Australia because they beat New Zealand by six wickets in their pool game at the World Cup in Nagpur, India.

They were thrashed by an innings and 156 runs (Brisbane) and 213 runs (Adelaide) in 2004.

 years later they experienced more disappointment at the same venues, losing by 149 runs at the Gabba and an innings and 62 at the Adelaide Oval.

New Zealand has a wretched check record on Australian soil since surprisingly sharing a three-test series 0-0 in 2001.

Cricket Australia has also reinstated the tri-series ODI idea and extended its regular check dates to host India in a four-match series which breaks with recent convention.

The check series against New Zealand will be followed by a four-test series against India beginning Dec. 26, the traditional Boxing Day slot at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The later tests will be played in Sydney and Perth and the series concludes in Adelaide from Jan. 24-28.

A two-match Twenty20 international series will follow that, leading in to the a Feb. 5-March 8 blockbuster limited-overs tri-series involving former world champion Australia against World Cup holder India and 2011 World Cup runnerup Sri Lanka.

Australia abandoned the tri-series format in favor of bilaterial series for seasons amid diminishing popularity for the 50-over game and increasing interest in T20, but has reinstated the three-way contest in what will be a busy summer.

"With the commencement of the ICC World Check Championship they know that every check win is vital and the Australian team will be keen to start the home season positively against New Zealand."

"ICC Cricket World Cup winner India is also the No. 1-ranked check team in the world at the moment. Sri Lanka has also been in great form as they saw in the World Cup, while they know New Zealand is always a formidable opponent that thrives when playing Australia," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.

The check series will clash with the Australian Open, the annual Grand Slam tennis fixture in Melbourne in late January, meaning the domestic broadcast audiences for both sports will be split.

The main check series in Australia has usually culminated with the New Year's match in Sydney in the first week of the new year, but the Australian cricket team has a packed schedule in the leadup to the domestic summer with an ODI series and tests in Sri Lanka in August-September followed by an ODI series and tests in South Africa in October-November.


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