Australia’s next overseas Test tour has been confirmed, with Bangladesh announcing they will host two games to be played for World Test Championship (WTC) points next year.
After the Tigers pulled off a famous victory to secure a series draw against a Steve Smith-led side in 2017, Australia will head back to the cricket-mad nation in June-July 2020, the Bangladesh Cricket Board confirmed this week.
Bangladesh also announced a three-match T20 series against Australia – which was initially scheduled to be played next month – will instead take place in 2021 in the lead-in to the T20 World Cup in India.
“We were supposed to host two Tests in February, but now the Test series will be played in June-July 2020,” Bangladesh’s cricket operations chief Akram Khan has been quoted by local media as saying this week.
“Initially, we were expecting to host Australia for a two-match Twenty20 International series in October, but now they have agreed to play three T20 internationals and it will be played ahead of the World T20 in India, though we are yet to finalise the date.”
Next year’s Tests could prove crucial in Australia’s bid to take out the inaugural WTC, which kicked off with this year’s Ashes tour and culminates in a final against the two top-placed sides in mid-2021.
Cricket Australia’s head of cricket operations Peter Roach was pleased with the reschedule of what will be just Australia’s third Test tour to the country.
“We are delighted to be touring Bangladesh in June 2020,” said Roach. “The two boards felt this was a more beneficial timing for the two Test series than the original date. It should be a terrific series.”
The Aussies, who play two Tests against Pakistan and three against New Zealand at home this summer, currently sit fourth on the WTC standings after drawing the Ashes against England 2-2.
Bangladesh will play their first WTC matches away to current leaders India in November. Their one-off Test defeat to Afghanistan earlier this month was not played for WTC points.
Australia also have limited-over tours to India, South Africa and New Zealand (in addition to ODIs at home against the Kiwis in March) during the opening months of 2020, before a three-ODI, three-T20 tour of England scheduled in July.
The International Cricket Council’s Future Tours Programme also has Australia slated for a three-ODI tour of Zimbabwe next year, though the status of that series is unknown following the African nation’s suspension from the ICC over political interference.
Once viewed as minnows in world cricket, Bangladesh have become a legitimate threat at major international limited-overs tournaments and a force in Test cricket on their home turf.
The Tigers have won Tests over England and Australia in recent years and, in Shakib al-Hasan, boast one of the finest allrounders in the history of the game.
The left-arm spinner took 10 wickets and struck a vital 84 in his side’s first ever Test victory over Australia in Dhaka two years ago.
David Warner compiled terrific centuries on turning pitches in both Tests of that campaign, while Nathan Lyon took a record 22 wickets for the series.