December is always a big month on the Australian sporting calendar, with the domestic cricket, soccer, and basketball leagues in action throughout the month, and culminating in the Boxing Day Test and Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race.
The 1st Test between Australia and India begins at Adelaide Oval on December 6, followed by the 2nd Test at Perth’s Optus Stadium on December 14 and the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26. The Aussies have slumped to 5th in the ICC test rankings and are in the unfamiliar position of underdog against the top-ranked Indians.
On the domestic Cricketfront, the 2018-19 Big Bash League begins December 19 with the Brisbane Heat hosting the defending champion Adelaide Strikers at The Gabba. Four rounds of matches will take place in December, including the Perth Scorchers versus the Strikers on Boxing Day in a battle between the last two champions and the Strikers versus 2015-16 champs Sydney Thunder at Adelaide Oval on New Year’s Eve.
In Soccer, there’s plenty of action to get excited about both here and abroad, with the A-League, English Premier League, and UEFA Champions League all heading into crucial parts of the season. The picks of the A-League’s December fixtures are: Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United on December 8 in a replay of last year’s grand final; Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC in the Sydney Derby, and the Central Coast Mariners against top-placed Perth Glory on New Year’s Eve.
Boxing Day will mark the 74th edition of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Last year, LDV Comanche set a new race record, beating 101 other competitors to Hobart in 1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes, and 24 seconds. The boats keep getting bigger and faster every year, and it will be interesting to see whether anyone can break the record again in 2018.
On December 29, the summer Tennis season begins with what will be the 31st and probably final edition of the Hopman Cup at Perth Arena. This event is set to be replaced by a massive ATP World Team Cup Event in Perth in January 2020, which will become the richest tennis tournament outside of the grand slams. In the meantime, some of the biggest names in tennis will arrive in Perth this month for the 8-country event, with Roger Federer to lead Switzerland, Serena Williams to lead the U.S., and Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber to team up for Germany.
As everybody knows, Australia is one of the greatest sporting nations in the world. The international teams in rugby and cricket and individuals in the worlds of golf, tennis and Olympic sports constantly do Australia proud but the domestic sporting scene provides the bulk of the sporting action.
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