Cricket Australia (CA) has today announced a new-look domestic fixture for 2013-14 with the RYOBI One-Day Cup to be played as a dedicated tournament in October before the Bupa Sheffield Shield and KFC T20 Big Bash League.
New look domestic schedule announced for 2013-14 season
- Domestic formats are to be played in blocks
- RYOBI One-Day Cup to be played as a four-week tournament in Sydney during October and broadcast live on the Nine Network via HD Channel GEM
- Six rounds of the Bupa Sheffield Shield to be played before Christmas
- Three rounds of the Bupa Sheffield Shield to be played before first Commonwealth Bank Ashes Test
- KFC T20 Big Bash League finals window brought forward by a week providing a packed week of Finals action
The RYOBI One-Day Cup will launch the season at a previously quieter time in the cricketing calendar and will be broadcast live on the Nine Network via their HD Channel GEM.
QUICK SINGLE: RYOBI One-Day Cup fixture
Separating the first-class and one-day domestic competition will mean players won't have to switch regularly between formats over the course of summer, allowing better preparation.
CA has also announced today that the KFC T20 Big Bash League Finals window has been condensed into a finals week to provide a climactic end to the season. This change does not affect BBL round matches, which will all still be played in the school holidays allowing families to take full advantage of the summer holiday period and all the BIG Final action will be played in closer proximity to the rounds in an action-packed week. The KFC T20 Big Bash League semi-finals will now take place on 4 and 5 February and the Final on Friday 7 February 2014.
QUICK SINGLE: KFC T20 Big Bash League fixture
After the RYOBI One-Day Cup, which will be played between 29 September and 27 October 2013, the Bupa Sheffield Shield will start with six rounds being staged before Christmas. Importantly, the opening three rounds have been scheduled before the first Commonwealth Bank Ashes Test. After breaking for the KFC T20 Big Bash League, the remaining four rounds of the Shield season will be played from 12 February 2014 with the final scheduled to take place beginning 21 March 2014.
QUICK SINGLE: Bupa Sheffield Shield fixture
Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said:
“We believe having a more clearly defined and blocked domestic schedule will give players the best chance to maximise their performance in each form of the game without the chopping and changing of previous years.
“From 30 October until mid-December there will an intensive block of Bupa Sheffield Shield cricket. All Test players will have a minimum of two and a maximum of three Shield matches to prepare for the first Commonwealth Bank Ashes Test. Most Test players will already be in Australia but any Test players returning from the India ODI series will be available for rounds two and three before they assemble for the Ashes.
“While it remains an important proving ground, the Shield isn’t the only measure used by selectors to assess Test aspirants. The Australia A program has been upgraded over the last two years to become an important step for those players seeking Australian selection, whether at Test or One-Day International level.
“Once the format and schedule of the RYOBI One-Day Cup and Bupa Sheffield Shield became clear, we reviewed the KFC Big Bash League schedule, in consultation and with the support of our host broadcaster Network Ten, and have tightened the finals period into one week which will see the competition continue its momentum following the round matches and also provide a fitting climax to the competition. This also means it will be played immediately after our International T20 season.
“We are excited about partnering with Network Ten for BBL this year. It is going to be a major free-to-air television event that will bring fans one of the most exciting new live sports products in Australia,” Mr Sutherland said.
Round nine of the Shield season will contain day-night matches played with pink balls as CA continues its push to find suitable equipment and playing conditions that will enable day-night Test cricket to be played in Australia.
“We’ve had ambitions to play day-night Test cricket for some time and although there have been some false starts, we are determined to make day-night Test cricket a reality,” Mr Sutherland said.
“The second half of the Shield season will be played concurrently with the South Africa Test Series. This means that if replacement players are required for the Tests, those players will be playing red ball cricket in Australia at the same time.
The RYOBI One-Day Cup will be played in a tournament format in Sydney over four weeks beginning on 29 September. The tournament will include 20 matches with teams playing six matches each. The top-ranked team at the end of the tournament will go straight to the RYOBI One-Day Cup final. Teams finishing second and third on the ladder will play an elimination final to decide who plays in the final.
Bankstown and North Sydney Oval will host 14 of the matches and Channel Nine will broadcast all matches at these venues. Hurstville, Blacktown International Sports Park and Drummoyne will play host to the remaining five fixtures.
Australia squad members selected in the ODI squad for the India Tour will play for their States in the RYOBI One-Day Cup leading up to the departure of the squad on 5 October, while Queensland and Western Australia will start their tournament following the return of the Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers from the Champions League Twenty20 in India.
“Playing the RYOBI One-Day Cup in a tournament format in October will provide a strong start to the cricket season. While this move is a more expensive option for CA, our Team Performance unit believes replicating a tournament style competition for One Day cricket is the best way of preparing our One Day cricketers for One Day Internationals and the World Cup in early 2015,” Mr Sutherland said.
“It is fantastic to have the Nine Network as our television broadcast partner for the RYOBI Cup. They have been long-time supporters of international cricket and it is great to see them now also supporting our premium domestic one-day competition.
“The success of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup and one-day cricket more generally is a priority for Cricket Australia. These changes to RYOBI Cup show that we’re supporting the 50-over format to ensure cricket continues to have three viable formats of the game at the elite level.”
29 Sep – 27 Oct RYOBI One-Day Cup
30 Oct – 25 March Bupa Sheffield Shield
21 Dec – 7 Feb KFC T20 Big Bash League
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 07 September, 2013 10:00AM AEST