Cricket: Cricket-Australia to open Ashes summer against Afghanistan


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will play their first test against Afghanistan in November before taking on England in five Ashes tests over five weeks around the New Year, Cricket Australia said on Wednesday.

The inaugural test against Afghanistan was called off last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic but will now take place from Nov. 27-Dec. 1 at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

The Ashes series will open at the Gabba in Brisbane on Dec. 8 before moving on to a day-night test at Adelaide Oval followed by the Boxing Day test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and New Year’s match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In a change from recent Ashes series in Australia, the fifth and final test will take place at the 60,000-seater Perth Stadium from Jan. 14-18.

Australia will also play three one-dayers and a Twenty20 match against New Zealand in late January and early February followed by five 20-over matches against Sri Lanka to round out the 2020-21 home season.

The women’s Ashes will open with the test match in Canberra from Jan 27-30, followed by three T20s and three one-dayers in February.

The world champion Southern Stars will also host India in a one-day series with dates yet to be confirmed.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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