Cricket 2 years ago

Test stars to get shot at pink-ball Shield

  • Test stars to get shot at pink-ball Shield

    Australian cricket captain Steven Smith takes part in a practice session at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium ahead of a warm-up match in Colombo on July 17, 2016. Australia and Sri Lanka play three Test, five One-Day Internationals and Two T20 series matches between July 26 and September 9, with the first Test played from July 26 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele. / AFP / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Australia's Test cricket stars will get two chances to play with the pink ball before the day-night Tests against South Africa and Pakistan in summer.

The first and fifth rounds of the Sheffield Shield are to be played under lights in the 2016-17 domestic season schedule released on Tuesday.

The first round falls between a five-match ODI series in South Africa in October and the three-Test series against the same country in Australia, of which the third Test in Adelaide (Nov 24-28) will be a day-nighter.

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It will include a NSW-Queensland clash at the Gabba, which could feature eight Test players in an early hit-out at that venue before its first pink-ball Test against Pakistan (Dec 15-19).

Test players could then return to the domestic competition for the second round of matches to be played under lights, given it coincides with a three-match one-day series against South Africa, just 10 days out from the Test opener against Pakistan at the Gabba.

"The way the schedule has been structured reinforces the significant role our domestic competitions play in helping players prepare for cricket at the international level," Cricket Australia high performance manager Pat Howard said.

The Sheffield Shield bonus points system will also be slightly altered, with 0.1 points to now be awarded for each first innings wicket taken in the opening 100 overs.

Previously, 0.5 points were awarded at the fall of the fifth seventh and ninth wicket.

Defending champions Victoria will against shift their last home game to Alice Springs to accommodate the AFL, while Wollongong (NSW) and Townsville (Qld) will also host matches.

Meanwhile, one-day cup matches will be played in Western Australia and Queensland, before the last 15 matches are played in Sydney, with the final at North Sydney Oval on October 23.

The entire one-day tournament was played on Sydney suburban grounds last year.

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