The announcement of the Ashes schedule always holds a certain thrill for cricket fans: the familiar ring to the names of the iconic Aussie venues, the chance to start planning the month’s matchday viewing and the promise of great cricket not far over the horizon. This year, though, there was an added treat amidst the agenda: on 2-6 December, the Adelaide Oval will play host to the first ever day-night Ashes test.
It is the first time in the history of the 135-year-old series between England and Australia that a Test will be played out under the lights with a pink ball thundering down the wicket. The historic rivalry between the two sides means that the atmosphere is always one of the best of any series in world cricket, but dusk falling on the arena looks like it will take it to a whole new level.
The ground where the unprecedented action will take place is the Adelaide Oval, located in the parkland between the centre and the north of the city. It is heralded as one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in Australia and the 50,000+ who will be there for the Ashes Test will make it a night to remember as history gets made.
Outside of the Oval, Adelaide is a lively place to spend some time revelling in the Aussie lifestyle. The church spires that the city is known for poke up from behind interesting little lanes lined with multicultural restaurants and packed bars, and there’s a constant calendar of live music and festivals. Add in the city’s warm Mediterranean climate and there could be few better places to while away the wait for the on-field action with a cool drink.
If you’re keen to explore the local area, the coastal hotspots of Glenelg Beach and the Fleurieu peninsula are within easy reach, as is the world-class wine of the Barossa Valley, where you can take in the terroir of the area while enjoying a tasting session. You can even follow in the footsteps of Australia’s early explorers and head out on a trip down the historic Murray River to take in the river beaches, paddle steamers and beautiful sunsets.
With the head-to-head record in the Ashes series delicately poised on 32 wins each, when the lights are switched on in Adelaide and the spectacle begins we will surely be in for a treat. England are on an upward curve following summer wins against South Africa and West Indies and look set to come out aggressively with the bat.
But both of the two previous day-night tests held at the Adelaide Oval have been won by Australia, with New Zealand and South Africa succumbing to the Aussies, so it looks set to be an exciting test of England’s mettle!
If you’ve only ever watched the action on TV and you’d like to experience the atmosphere and great community feel of a cricket trip Down Under for yourself, to book a flexible package including hotel accommodation and match tickets, click here.