Marsh One-Day Cup 2019
New name, fresh format for domestic one-day competition
Cricket Australia reveal domestic schedule for 2019-20 season, splitting Marsh One-Day Cup into three blocks
30 July 2019, 08:01 AM AEST
A rejigged and renamed domestic 50-over competition is the centrepiece of Cricket Australia's 2019-20 men's domestic schedule, which was unveiled on Tuesday.
The Marsh One-Day Cup, the interstate competition's new name following the recent acquisition of JLT by Marsh & McClennan Companies, will kick off the summer on September 21.
The Marsh Sheffield Shield will then begin on October 10 after half the 50-over games have been played, with the remaining 11 one-dayers to be played in two more separate blocks in late-October and mid-November before culminating with the final on November 26.
It's a notable change from the past six Australian seasons, which have seen the domestic 50-over competition played in a single block at the beginning of the summer with a sizeable portion of matches held on club grounds in Sydney.
This summer, however, will see five of the 21 games played at the MCG and the SCG, the iconic Test venues that have not hosted a domestic one-day game since 2013 and 2014 respectively, while a further four will be played at the WACA Ground.
Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium will host a 50-over game for the first time on October 31, with the remaining Marsh Cup matches to be played at Allan Border Field in Brisbane (four games), Junction Oval in Melbourne (two), Drummoyne Oval in Sydney (two), Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide (three) and Hobart's Blundstone Arena (two).
Significantly, only two games will be played without the home state participating.
The move away from holding the competition in a tournament-style block will likely pave the way for more of Australia's international players to take part. The Aussies play six T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka and Pakistan between October 27 and November 8, before the Test summer begins against Pakistan on November 21.
Last season's finals structure where all six teams made the knockout stage has been scrapped, with this year's format seeing the top two teams play in a decider after each side has played seven group games. The top-ranked team will earn hosting rights.
The changes have been made following feedback from states and players, according to CA's cricket operations chief Peter Roach.
"We've listened to the states, territories, the ACA and players on what is going to make our cricket system stronger,” Roach said.
"For the men's One-Day Cup, the key priorities were to play matches in more than one block, have them played on bigger grounds, ideally at our major venues, and play some more matches overall. We believe we have been able to meet these priorities."
Like last summer, six Sheffield Shield games will be played before the KFC BBL season gets underway to give Test hopefuls ample opportunity to push their cases for inclusion against Pakistan and New Zealand.
Finding a window for state and/or international players to participate in Premier Cricket was also a consideration, said Roach.
"From a timing point of view, we need to ensure that we play matches at times of the season to best present and prepare our players for international cricket," Roach explained.
"At the same time, we need to ensure there is appropriate rest periods between matches and the right opportunities for players to participate in Premier Cricket.
"We've tried to schedule Sheffield Shield games most effectively around the Test matches, with a Shield round starting as late as we can pre-Christmas to get it as close to the Perth Test, Boxing Day Test and Sydney Test as we can before the KFC Big Bash League season starts."
CA indicated there will be no day-night Shield games played despite the fact two of this summer's Tests – at the Adelaide Oval against Pakistan and at Optus Stadium against New Zealand – will be played under lights with a pink ball.
Australia A will however play a three-day day-night game against Pakistan at Optus Stadium from November 11 to help prepare the visitors for their pink-ball clash in the second Test against Australia in Adelaide later that month.
The bonus-point system that was used for the first time in last year's Shield final has been retained, with the rules widely lauded as encouraging a more positive approach from the top-ranked side who previously only needed to draw the five-day decider to be crowned champions.
The system sees the team with more bonus points (of which 0.01 are earned for every run scored above 200 in the first 100 overs of the first innings and 0.1 for every wicket taken inside the first 100 overs of the opposing team's first innings) awarded the Sheffield Shield in the event of a draw.
CA also announced the England Lions men's team (their equivalent of an 'A' side) will tour in February and early March, playing five one-day games and three four-dayers.