Related: Some details on the fixture
Cricket Australia has responded to the scores of fans in South Australia who have taken to social media to express outrage over news the traditional Australia Day international match will be moved from Adelaide to Sydney next summer.
Although the full men’s and women’s, Bupa Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup program won’t be released by CA until Monday, cricket.com.au reported today that the January 26 Carlton Mid ODI clash between Australia and India would be staged at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Both the Adelaide Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground have undergone major redevelopments that were completed earlier this year ahead of the ICC World Cup which begins in Australia and New Zealand in mid-February.
Over the past decade or more, Adelaide Oval Test matches have been the third-best attended behind the marquee Boxing Day fixture in Melbourne and the New Year Test in Sydney, and the revamped ground’s capacity now exceeds 50,000.
While Adelaide has never been guaranteed of hosting a fixture every Australia Day – in 2013 the national day was celebrated with a Twenty20 international at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium – it has become an unofficial tradition over recent decades for a Test or ODI in Adelaide on the national day.
There has been only two occasions this century when an Australia Day match was not staged in Adelaide – in 2013 when the ongoing redevelopment meant it offered reduced crowd capacity, and in 2003.
On the latter occasion, Adelaide was in line to host the third of the best-of-three one-day finals between Australia and England on January 27 if it was needed, but the home team wrapped up the series in straight sets.
That date carries even greater symbolism with the touring Indian team’s involvement given that January 26 is also India’s Republic Day – one of only three national holidays observed in the world’s biggest democracy and most heavily-populated cricket nation.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland explained that the sheer volume of international cricket scheduled for the coming summer – to be the biggest in Australia’s cricket history - has added additional complexity to an already intricate scheduling process.
“One of the critical things about this summer is that there are only four Test matches and there are venues around the country that are missing out on Test cricket,” Sutherland said.
“We’ve looked to complement them with other content and to try and find a balance while at the same time sharing matches around.
“It’s a unique season with the ICC Cricket World Cup at the end.
“This year Adelaide has done very well with the allocation of matches for the ICC Cricket World Cup and that’s something really significant for South Australian cricket fans to look forward to.
“We’ve made a decision to play a one-day international match in Sydney at the SCG against India on Australia Day.
“That’s not to say that will always be the case in the future, but in this case the unique circumstances of this summer have led us to make that call.”
Some of the reaction on social media includes a post from Facebook fan Bridie Jenner who wrote: “Yet another organisation who thinks that it’s only the people who live in Sydney or Melbourne that count.”
Also on Facebook, Pete Buckle said: “Cricket at Adelaide Oval on Australia Day is a tradition. Stuff Sydney, we have a better ground than the SCG and ground capacity is about the same. Sydney already get more cricket than they deserve”.
“So we upgraded the Adelaide oval for what exactly?” asked Ryan Patrick on Facebook.
“Adelaide oval not hosting Aus Day cricket? That's just not cricket #disgrace,” tweeted @simmo_1992.
“So the SCG is going to get the Australia Day ODI... stands to reason that Adelaide Oval get the New Years test then?” said @adamtwittey on Twitter.
And @morgstrauty on Twitter directed a message direct to those in charge of the schedule by writing: “Dear @CricketAus and whoever else does the fixtures, You're not nice people. Sincerely, South Australia.”
However, other cricket followers have pointed out that South Australian fans should be grateful for the number of international fixtures assigned to the Adelaide Oval in the coming summer.
In addition to being one of four venues (along with Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney) to host India in the summer’s only Test matches, Adelaide will stage the blockbuster India-Pakistan clash on the opening weekend of the 2015 ICC World Cup in February.
It will also host World Cup group matches England v Bangladesh (March 9) and Ireland v Pakistan (March 15), as well as being one of only three Australian venues (along with the SCG and the MCG) to host a final of the quadrennial tournament.
That quarter-final will be played on Friday, March 20.