Sydney - A domestic Sheffield Shield match will be played outside Australia
for the first time when New South Wales face Western Australia in New Zealand
next year, Cricket Australia said on Thursday.
The four-day Shield competition has been running since 1892-93 and there has
never been a fixture outside the country.
CA said it would take the unprecedented step to help the Australia Test side
prepare for a series in New Zealand in the early part of 2016 with the South
Island town of Lincoln hosting NSW versus Western Australia, starting on
CA shifted the fixture overseas instead of scheduling a tour game prior to
the two-Test series in New Zealand, from February 12 with most Australian Test
players not involved in the one-day series against the Black Caps likely to
feature in the Shield game.
"If we were to schedule a warm-up game, it would have to happen in
parallel with the Chappell-Hadlee (series)... and Sheffield Shield,"
high-performance manager Pat Howard said.
"That would obviously have a negative impact on the Shield because we'd
have to pull extra players out of that competition.
"Therefore we thought bringing a Shield match, involving a number of
international players, to New Zealand was a different option that gives us some
strong preparation in local conditions."