The 2021/22 Men’s Ashes will kick off on December 8th at Australia’s ex-fortress Gabba, with the fifth and final Test of the series set to be played at the Optus Stadium, which will be hosting its first ever Ashes Test. Meanwhile, a one-off Test versus Afghanistan in Hobart will serve as a prelude.
Cricket Australia (CA) have released the schedule for the much-awaited 2021/22 Ashes and have confirmed that the Men’s Ashes will commence at the Gabba, with the first Test set to be played between December 8 and December 12. The Gabba has historically almost always hosted the first Test of the Ashes, but India breaching the fortress four months ago means that for the first time this century, the Kangaroos will be entering a Brisbane Test having lost the previous game at the venue.
The caravan will then move to Adelaide, where the teams will play out of a Day-Night Test, post which the MCG will host the Boxing Day Test. Interestingly, there will be a five-day break between the Boxing Day and New Year Tests, with the SCG set to host the fourth Test of the series between January 5 and 9. The final Test of the 2021/22 Men’s Ashes will take place at the Optus Stadium in Perth between January 14 and 18, and it’ll be a historic moment as the game will mark the first instance of the Optus Stadium hosting an Ashes Test.
Meanwhile, more history will also be created later this year as the Aussies will also host Afghanistan in a one-off Test in Hobart, something that is expected to serve as a prelude for the Ashes. The Afghanistan Test will be played between November 27 and December 1 at the Bellerive Oval (now known as Blundstone Arena), and it’ll be the first time since the infamous debacle versus the Proteas in 2016 that the Aussies will be playing in Hobart.
Speaking of the Afghanistan series, CA's interim Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley said that the board are ‘absolutely thrilled’ to be able to host the sub-continent side.
"We're thrilled they're able to come this year," Hockley said, reported cricket.com.au.
"It was a huge disappointment they were unable to tour last year.
"I've been speaking to the Afghan ambassador here, and I know the entire Afghan community in Australia is extremely excited so I'm certainly hoping as many of them as possible will be making the trip to Hobart."
Meanwhile, the Men’s Ashes will be succeeded by the Women’s Ashes, that will commence on January 27. England and Australia will kick-start the Women’s Ashes with a one-off Test at the Manuka Oval, post which the two sides will play 3 T20Is and as many ODIs. The 2021/22 Women’s Ashes will conclude on February 19.
One-off Test v Afghanistan
Nov 27 – Dec 1: Test match, Blundstone Arena
Dec 8-12: First Test, The Gabba
Dec 16-20: Second Test, Adelaide Oval
Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG
Jan 5-9: Fourth Test, SCG
Jan 14-18: Fifth Test, Perth Stadium
Jan 27-30: Test match, Manuka Oval
Feb 4: First T20, North Sydney Oval
Feb 6: Second T20, North Sydney Oval
Feb 10: Third T20, Adelaide Oval
Feb 13: First ODI, Adelaide Oval
Feb 16: Second ODI, Junction Oval
Feb 19: Third ODI, Junction Oval