There is talk the change was made to fit with India’s preferred arrival date in New Zealand, where they are down to play two Tests, three ODIs and five Twenty20s in February and early March.
While the Kiwis regard matches against Australia as premium content, the big TV dollars available from playing India, the game’s most powerful nation, is seen as the jewel in the crown for New Zealand Cricket.
Finding alternative dates in Australia’s and NZ’s crowded international schedule will not be easy. The only windows for both countries, according to the FTP, are in October and March, which both fall well outside Australia’s traditional international period.
October is one of the quieter months in Australia’s sports calendar with the spring racing carnival the headline item. CA has already moved to have a greater presence in that month by scheduling a stand alone WBBL from this year.
Outside of World Cups, in 1992 and 2015, Australia has played only eight ODIs at home in March, the most recent being the finals of a tri-series in 2012.
A March series against the Black Caps would fit in with CA’s desire to stretch out the cricket season from the school holiday period. But it would put it in competition with the opening rounds of the NRL and the AFL. Australia are also slated to play three Twenty20s in NZ in late March.
If no date can be found next season it would be the first time Australia’s home fixture has not included a men’s ODI in 40 years.
CA is nearing an announcement of next summer’s domestic and international schedule. As reported by the Herald on Friday, Jolimont received the green light from the Pakistan Cricket Board for the Adelaide Test to be played under lights after being shut down last season by the BCCI.
Pakistan will play in Brisbane and Adelaide, while the Tests against NZ will be held in Perth under lights before the traditional holiday games in Melbourne and Sydney.