After a series of false starts caused by COVID-related restrictions and border closures, the NSW Blues finally have some game time locked in their calendars to kick off the 2021-22 summer.
Cricket Australia confirmed today that the Blues will square off against Victoria in a series of Marsh Sheffield Shield and Marsh One-Day Cup matches, starting with their season-opening Shield game at Drummoyne Oval from October 27-30.
NSW will then travel to Melbourne for Shield and One Day Cup fixtures at the MCG.
The two teams are also hopeful of scheduling a third Shield clash and a second One Day Cup bout ahead of the start of KFCBBL|11 in early December.
The Blues squad for the Drummoyne match, to be led by captain and Test batsman Kurtis Patterson, will be announced later this week. Details on match attendance for the public will be announced next week.
Cricket NSW Head of Male Cricket, Michael Klinger, said plenty of work had gone on to ensure the Blues could begin their season following months of COVID-related restrictions.
“It’s been well documented the challenges we have faced to get the season underway but now we have dates locked in the calendar and are ready to go,” Klinger said.
“This is fantastic for both New South Wales and Victorian cricket that we have been able to find a workable solution after a lot of hard work.
“We are very grateful to all our players and staff who have been patiently going about their business in amongst all the uncertainty and now we can’t wait to see them get out and play some cricket. We really appreciate their efforts.”
The Blues have played one day, two day and three day intra-squad trials in recent weeks with all-rounder Sean Abbott, rising young batter Ollie Davies and ageless seamer Trent Copeland just a few of the standouts.
NSW Blues fixtures
Marsh Sheffield Shield
Vs Victoria – October 27-30 (Drummoyne Oval)
Vs Victoria – November 5-8 (MCG)
Full Sheffield Shield fixture is HERE
Marsh One-Day Cup
Vs Victoria – November 12 (MCG)
Full One-Day Cup fixture is HERE
Meanwhile, in NSW's 3-day intra-squad trial match that began yesterday, Test spinner Nathan Lyon suffered a mild concussion and as a precaution has withdrawn from the rest of the fixture.
Lyon was injured while fielding late in the day, after bowling 20 well executed overs (1/79), and is expected to play in next week's Sheffield Shield opener.