Three Sheffield Shield matches scheduled before the Ashes
This year, the Shield game would stop midway to give way to the Big Bash League before reopening in February, with the BBL final happening on the 4th of February.
Updated - Aug 21, 2017 10:06 pm
Australian skipper Steven Smith and his teammates would be playing three Sheffield Shield matches before the Ashes, that is set to begin later this year. The opener would be played under the lights, which would be further lit by the involvement of the Australian International players.
The season would kick-start on October 26, with day/night games in Brisbane and Perth. Smith would be playing with the pink ball and will have the opportunity to tweak around with his captaincy before the actual Test against Joe Root & Co beings. The opening clash would be between the New South Wales and South Australia, on the 27th of October. The Ashes day/night Test is scheduled for a December 2 start, meaning the players would have enough experience with the pink ball.
New rules for this season
The next set of rounds that the Australian international players, would be a part of are the rounds that start on the fourth of November, and 13th respectively before assembling for the first Test against England on November 23. Duke balls would be a part of the domestic setup yet again in the second half of the competition, with a debut for concussion substitutes. It is the first time that such a substitution is initiated in the longest format of the game.
This year, the Shield game would stop midway to give way to the Big Bash League before reopening in February, with the BBL final happening on the 4th of February. The one-day cup starts on September 27, with Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart all hosting games. The one-day final will be held on October 21 at Bellerive, while the Shield decider will start on March 23.
The Australian team would be hopeful that these practise games come handy for them come the real test against the visiting English side. While Australia would be looking to bring home the Ashes, England will want to defend the urn that they won at home last time they played Australia.