Australia's one-day team celebrates winning the one-day international series against England at the Adelaide Oval on Australia Day earlier this year. Photo: Getty Images
Sydney has pinched the rights for Australia Day cricket this summer from Adelaide, with Michael Clarke's team to host India in a one-day international at the redeveloped SCG on the January public holiday.
Cricket Australia is expected to announce the schedule for the upcoming season on Monday, revealing the dates for the four-Test series against India and then a triangular ODI series with India and England leading into the 2015 World Cup.
There are tipped to be several new initiatives in the domestic schedule as well on top of the already announced new Sheffield Shield points system. The Ryobi Cup, which was held for the first time in a month-long format in one city last year, is set to be shared with games in Brisbane and Sydney during October. And there is also an interesting development in the works at Cricket NSW, with officials deep in negotiations about staging a Shield match in Wagga Wagga and Newcastle this summer. The four Tests against fifth-ranked India are to be held in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney starting in December following a limited-overs series against South Africa in November.
Australian opener David Warner lashes out during the one-day international against England in Sydney last January. Photo: Getty Images
The redeveloped SCG is the big winner of the 2014-15 calendar. Already locked in to host a World Cup semi-final and quarter-final and pool matches involving Autsralia and England its acquisition of the Australia Day one-dayer is a significant coup. Adelaide has for more than a decade enjoyed almost exclusive ownership of international cricket hosting rights on January 26, staging either Tests around the date or one-dayers.
The city surrendered Australia Day rights two summers ago - replaced by Sydney's ANZ Stadium, which held a Twenty20 international - when Adelaide Oval was undergoing a redevelopment and was able to accommodate less than 20,000 spectators. However, the venue will in January lose one of the marquee days of international cricket to Sydney again despite having had its $535 million facelift completed, lifting its capacity to more than 50,000.
The match against India at the SCG will form a key part of the Australian team's preparations for the World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, starting on February 14.
Perth is the other city dealt a major blow in the summer schedule, missing out on a Test as the series against India will be played over only four matches. In 2011-12 Clarke's men thrashed India 4-0 and they will arrive here this season for the first time in many years without retired legends Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman and out-of-favour veteran Virender Sehwag.