Cricket Australia announces cramped itinerary

Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies will tour Australia next southern summer in a compressed three-month program of One-day and Test cricket matches, Cricket Australia (CA) said.

A new series of three ODIs between Australia and New Zealand for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy will be added to the program, CA said on Wednesday.

Australia will play two Tests against New Zealand in Brisbane and Adelaide in November before taking on Pakistan in a three-Test series in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in December and January.

A compacted ODI tri-series between Australia, Pakistan and the West Indies will be staged in January and February.

The tri-series will feature nine preliminary matches rather than the normal 12, which has been regarded as too many by touring teams in the past.

The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, which is planned to become an annual competition, will be launched in December with three games in Australia.

They will be played in Melbourne on December 5, Sydney on December 8 and in Brisbane on December 10. There will be three matches in New Zealand the following southern summer.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said the program had been compressed to cater for other international commitments but a three-Test schedule against New Zealand would return.

"It's certainly far from ideal, we'd much prefer to be playing three (Tests) but just the nature of the program for this particular summer has meant that it's been squeezed," Sutherland told reporters in Melbourne.

"We've made it absolutely clear to New Zealand Cricket (NZC) that our intention into the future is for it to continue to be at least a three Test match series.

"It relates to the ICC Champions Trophy being held in late September and then has had a cascade effect onto our series in India, which is a four-Test match series.

"The team won't get back from India until early November and that's just compressed everything," Sutherland said.

Test matches in 2004-5 will be played in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney with Hobart hosting back-to-back Australia 'A' games against the West Indies and a One-day International between Australia and Pakistan.

CA said the West Indies will return to Australia in the 2005-06 season to play three Tests, including one in Hobart, with three other Tests that summer between Australia and South Africa.

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