Home » Australia’s blockbuster Indian cricket schedule revealed as big Ashes hint emerges

Australia’s blockbuster Indian cricket schedule revealed as big Ashes hint emerges

Western Australia has received a massive boost in its quest to become the permanent host of the opening Test each summer with confirmation the highly-anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India will begin at Perth Stadium on November 22.

As a pointer to where the Ashes will begin in 2025, Cricket Australia’s head of operations and scheduling Peter Roach said some of the nation’s Test cricketers now believed there was as big an advantage to starting the summer in Perth as there is at the Gabba.

Although Australia was upset by the West Indies at the Gabba in January, it has a dominant record when playing the opening Test of the summer in Brisbane.

Dating back to a loss against the West Indies in 1988, Australia has won all but two opening Tests at the Gabba when starting the series in Queensland, but it has lost its two most recent red ball matches at the venue when matches have been held later in the summer.

Watch every match of the 2024 IPL Season LIVE on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial Today >

Australia posted a four-wicket win over India in 2014 when the Gabba hosted the second Test of the summer after Adelaide. In 2021, India won the fourth Test of the series in Brisbane by three wickets. Perth did not host a Test in either series but the addition of an extra Test to the Border-Gavaskar series has opened the door for this summer.

The Australians were far too good for Pakistan in Perth in the opening Test of the summer last December and Roach said there is ample evidence to suggest the venue in Burswood played to the nation’s strengths.

“The clear advice from our national team is that there is a preference to start the series strongly at venues where they’re really comfortable and Perth and Brisbane they believe are somewhat comparable in terms of the advantage they get out of that,” Roach said.

“They are the hardest and bounciest pitches in Australia … so they will look at this schedule and some will say, ‘Geez, the Gabba first would have been better than Perth’. But others will say Perth rather than the Gabba. I think the gap has really closed in recent times in the way our players think about that.

“We’re really comfortable that this gives us a great opportunity to compete with a really strong Indian team.”

Aussie makes immediate impact in IPL | 01:11

Australian captain Pat Cummins said earlier this summer he did not have a strong opinion on which city should host the opening Test of the summer.

“I think the last few years … they are all quite Australian wickets with fast, bouncy wickets with sideways movement. I’m not too fussed, to be honest,” he said.

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley will on Wednesday address aspects related to the extended series against India and what lies ahead for Australian cricket.

But in a statement, he said the program against India had been chosen to maximise attendances at venues and also viewership across broadcast and streaming services in Australia and globally.

The second Test of the summer in Adelaide, which begins on December 6, will be a day-night affair, while the Brisbane Test will start on Saturday, December 14, which coincides with the beginning of school holidays in Queensland.

The MCG and SCG retain their traditional Boxing Day and New Year dates.

“Fittingly, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has been put on the same footing as The Ashes with a five Test Series for the first time since 1991-92 and we’re confident the schedule will maximise viewership and attendances and there will be a tremendous atmosphere in stadiums across the country,” Hockley said.

Reluctant Maxwell crucial to RCB win | 00:50

Roach said the time frame of the summer, which begins with an ODI against Pakistan at the MCG on Melbourne Cup eve and concludes with the SCG Test, was ideal as it would also enable the Test players to feature in Sheffield Shield matches in October and also in the BBL from one-third of the way through January.

‘This is the shape, in our eyes, of the ideal summer. That is what we are working towards,” he said.

“Regarding the first Test and whether it’s Perth or somewhere else, that’ll be worked through in that bigger strategy piece that Nick will talk through (on Wednesday) but we certainly think that this year starting in Perth, maximising our interest in Perth to try and grow those crowds and get them up to a significant level, and we know there’s passionate people about cricket in Perth, giving the first taste of India is a great opportunity.

“And we know that from a broadcast lot, it gives a great opportunity for people on the east coast of Australia, plus in India, to herald the

start of that marquee series.”

Optus Stadium will host the first men’s Test of the summer. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Former WACA chief executive Christina Matthews urged Western Australians to flock to the Test in December against Pakistan but there was criticism of the crowds at Perth Stadium given gaping empty spaces in the stands.

But the actual attendance of 59,000 over four days was strong given historical precedents in Perth and there is confidence the crowds will be vastly superior for both India and England over the next two summers.

Matthews has previously called on Cricket Australia to provide more certainty in regards to the Test, saying the WACA would love to build a theme around the match each year. A celebration of Indigenous Australia’s contribution to the sport is among the ideas that have been floated.

Perth is also connected to London via direct flights, which is significant in terms of attracting fans from the United Kingdom, including the ‘Barmy Army’.

The Barmy Army will be headed to Australia for a women’s Ashes series. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)Source: AAP

FULL SCHEDULE FOR 2024/25 SUMMER OF CRICKET

Women’s T20I Series v New Zealand

19 September: Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay

22 September: Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay

24 September: Allan Border Field, Brisbane

Women’s ODI Series v India

5 December: Allan Border Field, Brisbane

8 December: Allan Border Field, Brisbane

11 December: WACA Ground, Perth

Women’s Ashes ODI Series

12 January: North Sydney Oval, Sydney

14 January: Junction Oval, Melbourne

17 January: Bellerive Oval, Hobart

Women’s Ashes T20I Series

20 January: SCG, Sydney

23 January: Manuka Oval, Canberra

25 January: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Women’s Ashes Test Match

30 January-2 February: MCG, Melbourne (D/N)

Men’s ODI Series v Pakistan

4 November: MCG, Melbourne

8 November: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

10 November: Perth Stadium, Perth

Men’s T20I Series v Pakistan

14 November: The Gabba, Brisbane

16 November: SCG, Sydney

18 November: Bellerive Oval, Hobart

Men’s Test Series v India

22-26 November: Perth Stadium, Perth

6-10 December: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (D/N)

14-18 December: The Gabba, Brisbane

26-30 December: MCG, Melbourne

3-7 January: SCG, Sydney