Sheffield Shield to move out of Australia for first time

Melbourne, Feb 1 (IANS) Round 6 of Sheffield Shield commences this Wednesday with Australia’s premier domestic first-class cricket competition being played beyond the country’s shores for the first time in its 123-year history.

The historic move will see New South Wales take on Western Australia at Burt Suttcliffe Oval in Lincoln, New Zealand, from February 3 to 6.

Cricket Australia (CA) scheduled the match to help prepare players selected for the upcoming Test matches on the tour of New Zealand as well as giving players on both sides the opportunity to increase their playing experience outside Australia.

CA head of cricket operations Sean Cary said he hoped to have similar opportunities within the Sheffield Shield in the future also.

“We regularly look at opportunities to take the game to areas outside Australian capital cities. This Sheffield Shield season will see a range of different venues used including Mackay, Coffs Harbour, Alice Springs and Lincoln in New Zealand. It’s an important part of our efforts to give Australian players opportunities in different conditions that will hopefully prepare them better for international cricket,” said Cary.

“We’d like to express our sincere thanks to New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for working with us to make this match possible. They have been very accommodating and we hope to continue that relationship and return the favour where possible.”

Three Australian Test players will participate in the Sheffield Shield match — Nathan Lyon, Peter Nevill (both New South Wales) and Adam Voges (Western Australia).

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