Cricket ACT bosses will be hoping for a change of fortunes when the Big Bash returns to the capital for two games in 10 days next year.
Big Bash organisers have finalised the fixture list for the 2020-21 season, with Canberra to host two Sydney Thunder matches as per an agreement with the ACT government.
The Thunder will play the Melbourne Stars on January 3 and then return to Manuka Oval to play the Brisbane Heat on January 13.
Cricket Australia is hopeful coronavirus restrictions will be eased by the time the summer season begins, while it's likely the Twenty20 World Cup will be moved because of COVID-19.
If the World Cup is postponed, the Big Bash schedule and international matches penciled in for Manuka Oval will likely be changed.
Canberra's recent Big Bash matches have been affected by rain and smoke, with the bush fire haze forcing organisers to cancel a match between the Thunder and Strikers in December last year when the dangerous smoke blanketed the stadium.
It's unlikely the ACT government will commit to funding the Big Bash if crowds cannot attend. Cricket Australia could also be forced into a "bubble" arrangement if coronavirus concerns remain into the summer season.
But the two Thunder fixtures are viewed as a marquee events in the Cricket ACT calendar given they attract a wide range of fans and the competition is extremely popular.
"We have a great following in Canberra, they've really accepted us as their own," said Thunder captain Callum Ferguson.
"We've played some amazing cricket at Manuka Oval and had a lot of success so hopefully we can keep up some of the good form we've had there over the years."
Canberra will also host internationals during the 2020-21 summer, with the Australian men's team to play against India in a Twenty20 clash on October 14 and against New Zealand in a one-day international on January 29. The Australian women's team will play against India in Canberra on January 22.
Cricket Australia is yet to schedule a Prime Minister's XI match, but the Big Bash and international calendar will ensure a jam-packed January of action in the capital.
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