Pat Howard, Cricket Australia(CA) General Manager of team performance, has revealed that the Australian team is facing the unusual scenario of two of their series set to be played early next year clashing with each other.
According to reports in Foxsports.com.au, James Sutherland, CA chief executive, predicted the clash of games as a distinct possibility during a discussion with the International Cricket Council earlier this year.
It is speculated that the first match of the Border-Gavaskar series in Bangalore could directly coincide with one or more of Australia’s scheduled T20s against Sri Lanka, to be played on February 17, 19 and 22.
“We are scenario-planning and we strongly don’t anticipate that an Australian team will be playing the same day as another Aussie team,” Howard told Foxsports.com.au on Thursday (August 4). “Our caveat is we don’t know when the Indian Tests are. We haven’t got that schedule confirmed.”
With the rise of T20 cricket, tours have been coinciding in recent times. Earlier this year, Australia’s ODI squad had to leave for New Zealand in the midst of a Twenty20 series against India in Australi while in 2014, a second string Australian T20 team had to play against England after the Ashes while the rest of the squad was preparing for a Test series in South Africa.
However, specific matches have never clashed with each other.
“The schedule will continue to be tight, and has been for the last couple of years,” Howard said. “There have been contingency plans discussed. The preparation clashes which happened in the past, I can absolutely see happening again.”
Howard said Test cricket remained Australia’s priority. “I don’t apologise for putting Test cricket first,” he said. “We have to give the guys every opportunity to play well in India, which will mean (other) guys will get an opportunity to play T20 international cricket here.”