Setback won't stop SA's push for New Year's Test

·3-min read

South Australia will maintain its push to secure cricket's New Year's Test from Sydney despite advanced scheduling set to deny it the marquee match for the next three summers.

Adelaide will emerge as the biggest loser of this summer's soon-to-released schedule.

It will host West Indies for a second straight season, but its usual marquee December pink-ball fixture has been changed to become a day Test in mid-January.

In contrast, Perth will host the opening Test of the summer against Pakistan, who will also play in Melbourne and Sydney over Christmas and New Year.

Brisbane then join Adelaide in hosting a lowly-ranked West Indies, but Queensland's Test will at least be a day-night match.

There is a feeling in South Australia that their Test has been taken for granted by Cricket Australia (CA), given its ability to draw big crowds regardless of the opponent.

Amid their frustration, there remains a desire from the South Australian Cricket Association to earn marquee matches including taking the New Year's Test off Sydney.

Under a looming CA initiative, a clearer window of fixtures will be delivered to states seasons in advance in future.

South Australia have already confirmed they will get to host marquee Tests against India and England in the Decembers of 2024 and 2025 as part of those five-Test series.

While exact dates will not be announced, the advanced scheduling will allow states to begin tourism promotions years ahead with knowledge of their visiting team and what period the match will be played in.

Part of that initiative will also include a transparent process for why Tests are awarded to each city, showcasing what each state can offer financially and through other means.

With that in mind, South Australia will remain steadfast in their push to claim the New Year's Test off Sydney.

"We believe that is still on the table," SACA CEO Charlie Hodgson said.

"My understanding of the allocation process is it will go from next year onwards.

"While we have been guaranteed the December Test as a minimum, that is still an opportunity from next year on.

"We believe we deliver the best product of all the Test matches. And that is why we should be rewarded with the best Test matches."

Hodgson on Thursday made no secret of the fact his organisation was not happy with the January fixture, which will clash with cycling's Tour Down Under in the state.

The organisation will, however, not need to pay a fee to host premium Tests in the next three years, saving up to $8.4 million in total.

"There are 8.4 million reasons why CA has listened to our concerns about the scheduling," SACA president Will Rayner said.

"That is a very substantial concession, as is their commitment to a longer-term process."

If South Australia cannot prise the New Year's Test away from Sydney, then the SACA will push for a day-night Test in December each season as part of CA's long-term schedule allocation.

"The fact is whenever we hold a Test here, we know it's going to be a great event," Rayner said. "That is the point.

"We were saying to Cricket Australia that just because we put on a great event no matter when it is scheduled, it doesn't mean we should be taken for granted."