Australia set to play Sri Lanka in day-night Test next summer, blocking out Big Bash for at least four nights Featured

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 00:00 Written by  Published in Australia News
Australia set to play Sri Lanka in day-night Test next summer, blocking out Big Bash for at least four nights reuters

CRICKET Australia boss James Sutherland is happy to block out four prime Big Bash nights next January to play a pink ball Test as he continues to champion international cricket as the ultimate aspirational goal for Australia’s cricketers.

Despite the roaring success of the Big Bash and its potential to swell CA’s coffers when talks for a new TV rights deal amp up in the new year, long form still beats short form as the sport’s national flagship for CA.

And a pink ball Test against Sri Lanka next year is likely to bump the BBL from the schedule for up to four nights as part of a big six-Test summer.


Sutherland hopes to have the new TV deal, which could bring in up to $700 million, locked away mid-way through 2018 and part of the sell will be a summer featuring feature three January Tests in 2019.

And with the Test Championship and One-Day League coming in to play in July 2019, more changes to the regular summer schedule are planned, including fly-in, fly-out one-day series set to become a feature and three month, all-format tours for teams likely to disappear.

“There are aspects of (next summer) that are locked in and some that are still floating,” Sutherland told the Herald Sun.

“We have four Tests against India then two against Sri Lanka. The Indian ones will start later than conventionally, in December, concluding with the MCG and SCG as normal. Then there will be two Tests against Sri Lanka in January.

“I would suggest one of them (against Sri Lanka) would be a day-night Test. If there is a day-night Test in January, then it is fair to assume we wouldn’t schedule any BBL games in at least the first four days.”

The schedule of next summer, and what it looks like in years to come, could also determine the size and shape of the next TV deal, which Sutherland is “optimistic” will meet his expectations.

That figure of up to $700 million for the next five years, with as much $300 million coming for the BBL, is the around the number it’s expected CA could reap.

The BBL cash is expected to soar well beyond the $20 million a year it was sold for five years ago, while Sutherland also believes interest Test cricket remains strong after more than 210,000 people attended the first three days of the Boxing Day Test alone.

A deal close to $2 billion signed by the England and Wales Cricket board this year also gave Sutherland hope CA’s priority for international cricket above T20 comps was echoed around the world.

“The market will determine things. You look at the IPL ($3.2 billion), other TV deals in the UK, and they have enjoyed significant increases. Who’s to say what’s possible,” he said.

“I am not in to predicting how things will unfold … but I think the game is in much stronger shape than it was five years ago, and that’s all I have control over.”


Source : HeraldSun

Last modified on Wednesday, 17 January 2018 15:41

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