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Sheffield Shield to start next month with four rounds in Adelaide hub

The first four rounds of the 2020-21 Sheffield Shield season will be played in an Adelaide hub starting on October 10 and stretching through until November 17.

Playing a full Sheffield Shield season was one of the key commitments made at an Australian Cricket Council meeting last month – comprising of the chairs of Cricket Australia, state and territory associations and the Australian Cricketers Association – with CA also aiming to play the Marsh One-Day Cup, WNCL and Under-19 male and female championships in early 2021.

The Shield will begin with South Australia facing Western Australia at Karen Rolton Oval and Queensland playing Tasmania at the Park 25 ground. Due to the 14-day quarantine period imposed on people arriving into South Australia from Victoria, their first-round match against New South Wales will take place from November 17-20.

With the opening up of the New South Wales-South Australia border on Thursday travel between those states will not require quarantine, should that remain the case into next month, and could also mean New South Wales’ players are able to play extra grade cricket before their Shield season starts on October 22 with the reverse fixture against Victoria.

“The Marsh Sheffield Shield is an incredibly strong competition and for generations has been a crucial factor in the success of the Australian men’s team,” CA chief executive Nick Hockley said. “It is the envy of cricketing countries throughout the world. We would like to thank the South Australian government for their willingness to work together to deliver these fixtures.

“Many people have worked incredibly hard to arrive at this outcome, whilst recognising that player and staff safety and wellbeing remains the priority and having government restrictions in place to keep the community safe from Covid-19.

“CA will also be staging full WBBL and BBL competitions this summer, so there will be no shortage of action and opportunity for our women’s and men’s players.

“I would like to thank all our stakeholders across the game for their support, most notably the State and Territory Associations and the Australian Cricketers’ Association.”

Alistair Nicholson, the ACA chief executive, said: “Our players place an enormous value on our domestic competitions, and this has been reflected in their commitment and flexibility to get the game going.”

Confirmation of the reworked WBBL season, which will be played entirely in Sydney starting October 25, is expected shortly while the BBL may involve a rolling hubs around the country depending on Covid-19 restrictions.

2020-21 Sheffield Shield fixtures

Round 1

October 10-13: South Australia v Western Australia, Karen Rolton Oval
October 10-13: Queensland v Tasmania, Park 25
November 17-20: New South Wales v Victoria, venue TBC

Round 2

October 19-22: South Australia v Tasmania, Karen Rolton Oval
October 19-22: Western Australia v Queensland, Park 25
October 22-25: Victoria v New South Wales, Adelaide Oval No. 2

Round 3

October 30-November 2: New South Wales v Western Australia, Karen Rolton Oval
October 30-November 2: Victoria v Tasmania, Park 25
October 30-November 2: South Australia v Queensland, ACH Group Stadium, Glenelg

Round 4

November 8-11: Queensland v Victoria, Karen Rolton Oval
November 8-11: Western Australia v Tasmania, Park 25
November 8-11: South Australia v NSW, ACH Group Stadium, Glenelg

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