Ending weeks of speculation, Cricket Australia on Thursday confirmed that India will make the trip Down Under starting October this year for a financially critical assignment comprising four Tests, ODIs as well as T20 Internationals.
Australia will host India at their Gabba stronghold in the opening match of the four-test series and Adelaide will stage the nations’ first pink ball test, but Perth has missed out on a match in the lucrative tour.
Western Australia (WA) had hoped to host Virat Kohli’s India at the state’s Perth Stadium but were defeated by Queensland’s bid for a match at the Gabba, where Australia have not lost a test in over 30 years.
WA will instead kick off the home summer with a one-off day-night test against Afghanistan on Nov. 21, Cricket Australia confirmed on Thursday, a consolation prize that the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) were less than thrilled about.
WACA boss Christina Matthews was “astounded” that the two-year-old Perth Stadium had been overlooked for India in favour of Brisbane’s Gabba, the most dated of Australia’s major stadiums, and said it could cost the WACA up to A$4 million ($2.64 million) in lost membership fees.
“All the metrics associated with cricket over the last two years see us surpass Brisbane in every area, whether that’s crowds, broadcast ratings, even better rainfall at that time of year, more corporate seats … and a brand new stadium,” Matthews told reporters in Perth on Thursday.
Perth Stadium was given a match in the last home series against India in 2018/19, with the Gabba missing out.
Australia, depleted by the ball-tampering suspensions to David Warner and Steve Smith, won the Perth match but lost the series 2-1.
Australia will play India in their first day-night test from Dec. 11 at Adelaide Oval. India declined the offer of a pink ball test in 2018/19.
Melbourne and Sydney retain the traditional Boxing Day and New Year tests respectively.
The ODI series is scheduled to begin with a match on January 12 in Perth and it will be followed by contests on January 15 (Melbourne) and January 17 (Sydney).
The T20 series will begin on October 11 at Brisbane followed by matches on October 14 (Canberra) and October 17 (Adelaide).
“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,” Kevin Roberts, Cricket Australia CEO, said in a statement.
The India women’s team will also travel to Australia for an ODI series with matches scheduled in Canberra (January 22), St Kilda (January 25) and Hobart (January 17).
Roberts hinted that if circumstances dictate, there could be changes in the schedule which also features series against New Zealand (both men and women), West Indies and a one-off Test against Afghanistan (November 21-25).
All cricket was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions remain but India‘s board have said their team would be willing to tour Australia and comply with strict bio-security measures to make it happen.