Cricket Australia on Wednesday announced a reconfigured schedule for the 2020-21 Marsh Sheffield Shield, Marsh One-Day Cup and Women”s National Cricket League seasons in which it has condensed both the Sheffield Shield and One-Day Cup due to the restrictions put in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Sheffield Shield will consist of eight home-and-away rounds followed by a final starting on April 15.The first phase of the competition was conducted in a bio-secure hub in Adelaide, during which time Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia played four games, Queensland and New South Wales played three games and Victoria played two games. The remaining matches will be hosted on a traditional home-and-away basis provided the public health environment is conducive to doing so.
On the other hand, the One-Day Cup will be played over five rounds and will culminate in a final on April 11. The tournament will also be played predominantly in a home-and-away format assuming there are no restrictions between state borders.Cricket Australia said the decision to condense the tournaments was taken in “recognition of the extra requirements and responsibilities placed upon players, officials and staff on account of the coronavirus pandemic and related bio-security protocols”.
Drew Ginn, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager High Performance, said the announcement safeguards the “integrity” of the Sheffield Shield and One-Day Cup competitions while managing the physical and mental wellbeing of players, officials and staff on account of the extraordinary demands placed upon them this season.”It also ensures that we will see a full Women’s National Cricket League schedule executed over the coming months,” Ginn said.
Brendan Drew, ACA General Manager Cricket Operations and Player relations, said: “From the outset, the players have maintained that domestic cricket is a vital cog of the Australian game and we are pleased that a balanced 2021 schedule will be able to support these competitions over the coming months.”
“And, with a number of Australian players available for both the male and female domestic competitions over the coming months it provides a great opportunity for domestic cricketers to test themselves against their Australian counterparts,” he added.