Melbourne: Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday confirmed a delayed commencement of the 2021-22 domestic cricket schedule while announcing dates of opening games for South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.
Work is underway to finalize the dates and venues of the opening games for New South Wales and Victoria, given the current lockdowns and border restrictions with further fixtures to be announced as soon as possible.
The changes have been made in response to public health conditions, border restrictions and their related impacts. CA said it will continue to prioritise the health and safety of players, staff and officials, cricket fans and the wider community, in navigating the upcoming summer.
Peter Roach, Cricket Australia's Head of Operations and Scheduling, in an official release, said: "Like all sports, we cannot rule out facing challenges created by the global pandemic in the season. However, the lessons of the 2020-21 summer have prepared us well to be agile and adapt as required to deliver the best possible season for the players and fans."
He also thanked the States and Territories for their support and understanding through this process. "We will build out further fixtures in the coming weeks and announce them once finalised," he added.
The men's domestic season will begin on September 22 with a Marsh One-Day Cup match between South Australia and Western Australia at Karen Rolton Oval. The Marsh Sheffield Shield season will begin on September 24, with the same two sides going head-to-head at the same venue.
Queensland will then play Tasmania in the Marsh Sheffield Shield on September 28 followed by a Marsh Cup match on October 3, both at Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane.
The Women's National Cricket League will now be played after the WBBL|07 season is completed, with the first game scheduled for December 16 with the final being held on March 6.
The full revised domestic schedules for the Marsh Sheffield Shield, Marsh Cup and WNCL will be announced in due course.