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POST TIME: 8 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Marathon season as Australia host Pakistan, NZ, SL
Afp, Sydney

Marathon season as Australia host Pakistan, NZ, SL

Australia will play back-to-back pink-ball Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand in a marathon international cricket season spanning almost five months and wrapping up next March, the latest finish since the 1970s.

Brisbane's Gabba hosts the first of two Tests against Pakistan from November 21, followed by a day-nighter at Adelaide Oval, the schedule released Tuesday showed.

Australia then face New Zealand at Perth Stadium for the second day-night match before the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne and finally Sydney. With only five Tests, Canberra and Hobart miss out.

The games will be the first on Australian soil that count towards the inaugural ICC Test Championship, where points are awarded to the nine countries taking part.

Ordinarily, one-day internationals are played at home in January, but Australia will instead be in India to fulfil an obligation under the Future Tours Programme.

Cricket Australia wanted to find an alternative date for the series, but India reportedly refused to budge, meaning three one-dayers against New Zealand will instead start in March, extending the season to its latest finish in 41 years.

The last time the season ended so late was in 1979 when Australia hosted Pakistan for a Test in Perth.

“Scheduling international cricket is challenging in that nine of the 10 major cricketing countries have seasons similar to ours,” said Cricket Australia's head of operations Peter Roach.