BBL, ODI, and Test series: A beginner’s guide to the 2022-23 Victorian summer of cricket

A full crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test

Nicola Dowse

Posted December 08, 2022

Whether you’re a traditionalist and loved the Boxing Day Test, or need the intensity of the Big Bash, there’s no shortage of men’s and women’s cricket to enjoy this summer.

Summer in Australia means a lot of things: barbecued sausages, days spent by the beach, enjoying a scoop of ice cream (or three), and of course, the return of the cricket season in full swing.

Shortly after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup in November, the 2022-2023 summer is looking to be a cracking year for cricket fans across Victoria. 

As is tradition, the Melbourne Cricket Ground will host the Boxing Day test where Australia will take on South Africa, while Big Bash matches are scheduled to take part at various stadiums across Melbourne and Victoria from early December. Plus, the Sheffield Shield continues from February with Melbourne also hosting two Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) matches over the summer. 

Victoria’s summer cricket 2022-2023: what’s on

Boxing Day Test: December 26 - 30

Australia will face off against South Africa for the Boxing Day Test, welcoming the Proteas back to the MCG for the first test series between the two teams in six years. The Boxing Day Test represents the second in the test series which kicks off at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 17, before arriving Melbourne on December 26 and finishing up at the SCG from January 4.

Emotions are likely to be high given Australia and South Africa represent first and second place in the current World Test Championship rankings. 

Shrewd cricket fans will have clocked that the test series marks the first time South Africa and Australia have played each other since the scandalous ‘Sandpaper-gate’ incident rocked the cricketing world in 2018. 

Don't expect the Proteas to hold anything back, with the team going after its fourth consecutive test series win in Australia. Batter Dean Elgar captains the squad that also boasts powerhouse bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje. 

The Boxing Day Test tends to attract both dyed-in-the-wool cricket fans and those who see the match as more of a post-Christmas tradition. It’s well worth attending even just the once to experience the jovial atmosphere. 


A young boy wearing the Melbourne Stars colours raises his arms in support as part of a huge Big Bash crowd

The BBL is all about the fun of cricket, with excitable crowds and fireworks. Image: Getty

Mens’ Big Bash League (BBL): December 13 – February 4

If you’re trying to get into cricket, the Big Bash League (BBL) presents an accessible and fun point of entry. The summer cricket series is a Twenty20 cricket competition meaning it moves much faster than Test cricket and can be very exciting, with players thwacking the ball with gusto and reaching big scores.  

While the Big Bash is Australia’s domestic T20 competition, a number of international players have been contracted to each team for the season. At least two rookies play per team as well, meaning you get to see players at the top of their game as well as those who are the next big thing all in one match.

Matches will be played throughout the country during December and January, with several hosted at Victorian stadiums including the MCG, Marvel Stadium, CitiPower Centre in St Kilda, and GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.  

There’s generally one or two matches played in Victoria each week of the season, giving local audiences plenty of opportunities to head along. Finals start January 27, with the deciding match held February 4. 

Melbourne features two teams (the Stars and the Renegades), though the last time a Melbourne team won the championship was back in 2018. The Perth Scorchers will be the team to beat this season, being the defending team and having won the most BBL titles of any team.  

Sheffield Shield: October 3 – March 27

After taking a break during December and January, the Sheffield Shield returns early February 2023. This is a round-robin domestic cricket series with six team – one for each Australian state.  

Each team plays each other twice in four-day matches, with those that accumulate the most points going on to play in the five-day final (held in late March). 

Victorian audiences can see the home team play the Queensland Bulls on February 9 at the MCG, or the South Australia Redbacks on February 20 at CitiPower Centre in St Kilda.


A batsman runs for the crease as a they're bowled out in the WNCL

Two WNCL matches are being played in Melbourne over January and February. Image: Getty

Women’s National Cricket League: September 23 – February 25 

While Victoria won’t be hosting any of the women’s one day internationals against Pakistan, we’re still getting a few matches as part of the WNCL. 

The first local match takes place against NSW on January 5 and 7 at CitiPower Centre. Team Victoria will return to the same oval again on February 8 and 10 to take on Western Australia. 

Of course, you can also tune in and catch Australia’s national women’s team take on India in the Twenty20 International series being held in Mumbai from December 10 to 21. 

How to get to the cricket in Melbourne 

In Melbourne, cricket matches are commonly held at the MCG, Marvel Stadium in Docklands, and CitiPower Centre in St Kilda. All three venues are easily accessed by tram or train, and it’s particularly recommended you use public transport to get to cricket matches on popular days, such as day one of the Boxing Day Test.  

Occasionally matches are held at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, which is a short walk from the South Geelong VLine Station.  


Plan your journey by car, tram or bicycle 
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