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Australia's domestic T20 season set to start in December

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Cricket Australia has optimistically announced a Dec. 3 start to the domestic Twenty20 competition which is set to begin the same day the first test between Australia and India opens in Brisbane.

Still to be determined is whether the Twenty20 World Cup, set for Oct. 18 to Nov. 15 in Australia, will go ahead. All international cricket was suspended in March because of the coronavirus lockdown and test cricket has only just resumed in England.

The 16-team T20 World Cup has a number of matches scheduled in Victoria state, a current hotbed of COVID-19 which has resulted in a six-week lockdown in Melbourne. The 10th season of Australia's Big Bash League is set to end on Feb. 6, depending on the continuing pandemic. The first BBL night match will start at the Adelaide Oval just as play ends in the first test at Brisbane.

Cricket Australia has several contingency plans in case of further coronavirus shutdowns. “While we know that the challenging, fast-changing coronavirus pandemic could ultimately mean revisions to the schedule, there is nonetheless a lot to like about the way both competitions are shaping up,” BBL head Alistair Dobson said.

Rule changes for this year’s competition have yet to be finalized, with the most notable shift likely to be a player draft for international signings. The last major international event staged in Australia before the coronavirus lockdown was the Women's Twenty20 World Cup final in March, when Australia beat India in front of more than 86,000 spectators in Melbourne.

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