Cricket Australia said they were hopeful of staging an Ashes series in front of full crowds later this year but stressed they would follow government advice when it came to admitting travelling supporters as the schedule for the England’s men’s and women’s tours was released on Tuesday.
The five-Test men’s Ashes will start in Brisbane on December 8 before a day/night match in Adelaide. The traditional Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground will then take place.
Sydney, however, will be the venue for the fourth Test, rather than the series finale as has been customary, with the fifth Test at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
Both those latter two matches are scheduled for January.
Australia lost 2-1 at home to India in a memorable four-Test series 2-1 played in front of reduced crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic between November 2020 and January this year.
Non-essential travel to Australia from the UK is not currently permitted as a result of Covid-19.
“The lessons learned from successfully delivering a safe summer in 20-21 gives us confidence on what we’re able to achieve, and we’re all hoping for a summer of full crowds and an Ashes atmosphere we’re all accustomed to,” said Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s interim chief executive.
“In a perfect world, we would welcome England fans back to these shores for a summer of singing and sportsmanship. Of course, we will be guided by the Australian Government on all things related to international travel.”
The England men’s warm-up schedule, ahead of the Ashes, will be announced in due course.
Meanwhile a multi-format series between the England and Australian women will start with a one-off Test in Canberra from January 27-30, followed by three Twenty20s and three one-day internationals.
“2022 is going to be an amazing year for women’s cricket,” said England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison.
“With an Ashes, a World Cup in New Zealand and a home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, this could be a landmark year for our team.”
Australia hold the men’s Ashes following a 2-2 draw in England in 2019, when their women’s side won the corresponding series by the emphatic margin of 12 points to four.
Men’s Ashes 2021/22
Dec 8-12: 1st Test, Gabba, Brisbane
Dec 16-20: 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (day/night)
Dec 26-30: 3rd Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Jan 5-9: 4th Test, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Jan 14-18: 5th Test, Optus Stadium, Perth
Jan 27-30: Test, Manuka Oval, Canberra
Feb 4: 1st T20, North Sydney Oval, Sydney
Feb 6: 2nd T20, North Sydney Oval
Feb 10: 3rd T20, Adelaide Oval
Feb 13: 1st ODI, Adelaide Oval
Feb 16: 2nd ODI, Junction Oval, Melbourne
Feb 19: 3rd ODI, Junction Oval, Melbourne
Taken from – The Hindu