Ricky Ponting could break Steve Waugh’s mark as Australia’s most-capped Test cricketer in front of home state fans in Hobart after the international summer schedule was announced today.
If Ponting plays the three Tests to open the summer against South Africa in November, the scene will be set for him to create Australian cricket history at Bellerive Oval in the first match of another three-Test series against Sri Lanka.
Former national skipper Ponting currently sits on 165 Tests, just three shy of the record mark of 168 set by Waugh, his predecessor as captain.
The Gabba will host its first Test against South Africa in 49 years when world heavyweights the Proteas start their campaign in Brisbane on November 9.
South Africa beat Australia 2-1 when they last toured in 2008-09, and drew 1-1 with Michael Clarke’s team when they met in a dramatic two-match series last year in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The Proteas can go No.1 in the Test rankings if they beat England in a three-Test series starting in the UK on Thursday, and will finish off their Australian tour with Tests in Adelaide (November 22-26) and Perth (November 30-December 4).
Sri Lanka begin their first Test visit to Australia since 2007 in Hobart on December 18.
Then Melbourne will host the Boxing Day Test and Sydney the New Year’s Test to wrap up the series — as Sri Lanka look to break through for a maiden five-day win Down Under.
The twin Test series will be followed by a pair of five-match, head-to-head one-day international series — the first against Sri Lanka and the second against the West Indies.
The series against the West Indies will be highlighted by the first international cricket match featuring Australia in Canberra.
The summer will feature 43 days of international cricket plus three tour matches against South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
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