Cricket Australia has announced the return of domestic cricket, with play set to resume in the coming weeks.

Cricket Australia has confirmed the return of domestic cricket in the 2021-22 season, with both men’s and women’s competitions set to resume in the coming weeks.

The Marsh Sheffield Shield will kick off once again on February 9, with 10 matches set to be played over five rounds, and the final to be played out on March 31.

The playing conditions of the competition have been altered due to the imbalance of fixtures that have been played thus far. Queensland is scheduled to play a total of nine matches, Tasmania and South Australia eight, while New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia will play seven under the adjusted fixture.

The final table positions will now be decided by the average number of points each team accumulates from the scheduled matches. Western Australia has also been granted additional time to prepare for the resumption of the season due to the quarantine requirements after the conclusion of the BBL|11 season.

In addition to the return of Shield cricket, there will be eight Marsh One-Day Cup matches that will also be played before the final on March 11 at the CitiPower Centre (Junction Oval) in Melbourne. Each team will play six matches in the Marsh Cup competition. 

The remainder of the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) season will be played from February 22 – March 25, with the fixture details to be confirmed next week.

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Commenting on the resumption of domestic cricket, Cricket Australia’s Head of Cricket Operations and Scheduling, Peter Roach, said that he’s pleased to see play resume and that an extended break after the BBL season’s conclusion was a necessary approach.

“We are pleased to confirm the remainder of the men’s domestic season and look forward to confirming the final details of the 2021-22 WNCL shortly.
“Through close consultation with all stakeholders, we have confirmed a schedule which we believe to be in the best interests of players, match officials, support staff and fans.

“Following a fairly challenging KFC BBL period, the medical advice we received recommended a short break post BBL, along with a break somewhere within the remaining fixtures to allow participants a breather from the recommended playing protocols.
“Whilst Cricket Australia want to maximise the number of matches played in pivotal domestic competitions, the health and wellbeing of participants is a priority,” Roach told media on Friday.
“Our domestic competitions are amongst the strongest in the world, and we want teams to have the opportunity to field their best squads, and players and staff to have the opportunity to be at their best when given the opportunity.
“For these reasons, the decision was made and supported unanimously by stakeholders to complete the domestic competitions under the revised playing conditions and schedule.
“We look forward to the domestic season getting underway safely and thank the States and Territories for their flexibility and understanding as we navigate scheduling challenges.”

Fixtures ahead:

Marsh Sheffield Shield
Feb 9-12: South Australia v Victoria, Adelaide Oval
Feb 9-12: Queensland v New South Wales, Gabba
Feb 18-21: Victoria v Queensland, CitiPower Centre
Feb 18-21: New South Wales v Tasmania, SCG
Mar 2-5: Queensland v South Australia, Gabba
Mar 15-18: New South Wales v Western Australia, Bankstown Oval
Mar 15-18: Victoria v Tasmania, CitiPower Centre
Mar 23-26: Western Australia v Victoria, WACA Ground
Mar 23-26: South Australia v New South Wales, Karen Rolton Oval
Mar 23-26: Tasmania v Queensland, Blundstone Arena
Mar 31-Apr 4: TBC v TBC, TBC*
Marsh One-Day Cup
Feb 14: Queensland v New South Wales, Gabba (D/N)*
Feb 15: South Australia v Victoria, Karen Rolton Oval
Feb 23: Victoria v Queensland, CitiPower Centre
Feb 23: New South Wales v Tasmania, North Sydney Oval (D/N)*
Feb 25: New South Wales v Tasmania, North Sydney Oval (D/N)*
Mar 6: Tasmania v Victoria, Blundstone Arena
Mar 8: Victoria v Western Australia, CitiPower Centre
Mar 8: New South Wales v South Australia, TBC
Mar 11: TBC v TBC, CitiPower Centre*

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