Sydney, Australia:Australia rescheduled the first Test of its three-Test cricket series against South Africa in December to allow players to take part in the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League in India.
The Perth match between cricket's No. 1 and No. 2 test nations will now start on Dec. 17, five days later than planned, allowing players to take part in the eight-team Champions League, which runs from Dec. 3-10.
The changed schedule means Australia and South Africa will now meet in three Tests in consecutive weeks. A tour match against Tasmania from Dec. 20-22 is likely to be scrapped.
Australian Test players were originally likely to miss the US$6 million (euro4 million) Twenty20 tournament which was to be held in September and October, clashing with their tour of India. The change of dates for the Test match and Twenty20 series will now allow international players from the five countries involved in the tournament to take part.
Australia will be represented by the Victorian and Western Australian state teams which will compete with Indian Premier League finalists Rajasthan and Chennai, South Africa's Titans and Dolphins, English county Middlesex and Sialkot from Pakistan.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the changed dates for the Perth test had been agreed to by the players and would benefit all levels of cricket.
"We ... took feedback from players that the changes could be accommodated without compromising what will be a de facto world test cricket championship bout between Australian and South Africa," Sutherland said.
"The changes can be made without compromising cricket's premium format and allow the significant benefits which the new Champions League will offer grassroots cricket to be delivered."