The Bulls will play Tasmania in Townsville from 28 September to begin their Marsh Sheffield Shield season and will also take on the Tigers in a Marsh One Day Cup game at the same venue on 3 October.
It will be the first Shield match at the North Queensland venue since 2016-17, while the last one-dayer was held there in 2018-19.
Ian Healy Oval at Norths will take its place as the latest first-class venue in Queensland this summer, after the originally gazetted debut Shield match late last season was washed out without a ball being bowled.
It will become the 12th venue in Queensland to host first class cricket when Queensland host South Australia in October.
Additionally, Alan Pettigrew Oval at Norths will host Women’s National Cricket League matches for the first time when the reigning champion Queensland Fire open their season at home in early October.
The Fire will also play a WNCL match at the adjacent Ian Healy Oval later in the season.
The venue will also host Australia A and the England Lions in a four-day match starting December 9 and running concurrently with the First Vodafone Ashes Test at the Gabba.
The Norths complex at the Shaw Road precinct was redeveloped last year as part of the National Cricket Campus project, with the first two stages developing three main ovals and a new players’ pavilion.
Allan Border Field will be unavailable for the 2021-22 season as it undergoes redevelopment in the final stage of the $18.6 million NCC project, with work starting at Albion later this month.
The Bulls will also play three Shield and a day/night Marsh Cup at the Gabba.
Queensland will open their One Day campaign at the WACA in mid-September.
The 2021-22 summer will feature the most days of cricket ever with the return of the full domestic schedules in men’s and women’s competition, as well as a host of men’s and women’s tour matches.
The Marsh Sheffield Shield and Marsh One-Day Cup will revert to full 31 and 22-game schedules respectively in 2021-22, while the WNCL will once again comprise a 29-game campaign.
Today’s national announcement rounds out an unprecedented Australian summer of cricket, with 29 international fixtures including eight Test matches and 120 matches across both Big Bash Leagues also due to take place.
Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson welcomed the return of the Bulls to play at a regional venue.
“We’re excited to be taking first-class and one-day cricket back to Townsville and we’re sure supporters of the game in North Queensland will enjoy having the Bulls back, especially in light of their Shield Final win last summer,’’ he said.
“Riverway Stadium is an excellent regional venue, one of many that QC is fortunate to be able to utilise around the State, and we thank the Townsville City Council and Mayor Jenny Hill for their on-going support of cricket in the region.
“We’re looking to working alongside the Council and Townsville Cricket to provide a great experience for fans during those games.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said hosting the Marsh Sheffield Shield and Marsh One Day Cup games at Riverway Stadium was a huge win for the community and cricket fans throughout the region.
“Riverway Stadium is an international standard cricket ground, and it is terrific to see it hosting some of the best players in the country as part of the Sheffield Shield and the Marsh One Day Cup,” Cr Hill said.
“Bringing high-quality national sporting competitions to the region is important for supporting not only the economic activation of the city, but also inspiring our next generation of elite athletes looking to compete on the next level.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the Bulls play at Riverway and showcasing our city on a national stage once again,” she said.
Svenson said the return of the Bulls to the Gabba after last year’s COVID-19 impacted season, as well as the inaugural first class, one-day and WNCL games at the home of Northern Suburbs in Kalinga were noteworthy elements of the Queensland schedule.
“The Bulls are delighted to be back at the Gabba again, and it’s also exciting to be able play matches at the Shaw Road complex in the wake of the outstanding work done last year as part of the National Cricket Campus project.
“We had a false start last year due to the sustained period of wet weather that Brisbane experienced late in the season, but the venue has received nothing but glowing reports as its usage has grown since then.”
“The Allan Border Field redevelopment that will take place this season is a very important component of the National Cricket Campus vision and we’re grateful to the many funding partners and stakeholders which have enabled Ian Healy Oval and Alan Pettigrew Oval to now take on the role of hosting Sheffield Shield, One Day Cup and WNCL games,” Svenson said.
The men’s domestic season begins on September 11 with six Marsh One-Day Cup matches in six days, before the opening round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield begins on September 28.
Each state will play five Marsh Sheffield Shield matches before the only Vodafone Test between Australia and Afghanistan at Blundstone Arena begins on November 27. A sixth Shield round will run concurrently with that Test match, before domestic cricket breaks for the KFC Big Bash League. A total of 15 Marsh One-Day Cup matches – five for each state – will also be played before the commencement of KFC BBL|11.
The men’s domestic season resumes on February 6 with the remaining four rounds of Marsh Sheffield Shield completed by March 19, with the five-day Final to commence on March 26. Marsh One-Day Cup home and away matches will be completed in February, with the Final scheduled for February 27.
The 2020-21 Women’s National Cricket League season commences on September 23, with the campaign to be played in four blocks of seven matches.
The September block takes place during the series against India, with December and January’s blocks providing the lead-in to the Women’s Ashes against England.
The February WNCL block will round out the home and away season before the Final on March 6.
In all, 13 Marsh One-Day Cup matches will be broadcast on Foxtel including the Final, while the Marsh Sheffield Shield Final will also be shown on Foxtel.
Men’s domestic matches will also be streamed on Kayo and cricket.com.au. Streaming details for the WNCL will be released in due course.