Finally, it's time again for Test Cricket in Incredible India. Australia's last cricket tour to this dazzling land was in Feb 2017. After winning the 1st Test in Pune by 333 runs, Australia couldn't capitalise and lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to India 2-1. When Australia Tours India in 2022, we will not have won a Test series in India since Michael Clarke's debut in 2004, and before that was 1969. Thus, we want to change that 'win once every 52 years' with your support at the 4-Test Match Series in Oct-Nov 2022 in this amazing country.
India is captivating, inspiring, and colourful, with unequal exuberance anywhere in world cricket. The stadiums are frenzied cauldrons of passion and patriotism, bountiful biryani, dodgy seating, stray dogs, and sleeping police. You can go to India and lose yet leave happy because of the mind-blowing experience. If India is performing well, the full whack of packed stadia is breathtaking.
India excites, mesmerises, baffles, and indulges every sense, and that's just trying to get into the cricket. Away from the game, indulge in ancient palaces, vast deserts, tranquil waterways, vibrant villages, holy lakes, humbling cities, giant forts, sumptuous foods, holy cows, barking dogs, rail safaris, elephant polo, chaotic streets, soothing parks, and colonial railway stations of an infamous rail network; Indian Railways carries 23m people on 12,000 daily trains, connecting 7300+ stations.
India is a world of sights, sounds, scents, & wonders that keep you wide-eyed, and why we've travelled to India 18 times. We love India and want to share our next Australian Cricket Tour to India with you, with straight-forward and affordable Tours.
When you join our Australian Cricket Tour of India we make your brief time in this vast country, hassle-free. In India, hassles are normal but tempered when enjoyed with awesome people, some of whom we've travelled with since 1995. Though capable of 'doing it themselves', many that are well-travelled join us year after year because they simply love watching cricket with the guys & girls that tour with us. As we say, we focus on bringing people together at the great game, safely and comfortably.
In India 2022 we have 8 nights per Test in great hotels (with India's tireless guest-services!) that will collect you from the airport no matter what time you arrive. Like many things in India, where we stay depends on where we play. Often 3 or 4-star hotels are the best hotels available, if not just give you better convenience. Cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and New Delhi have outstanding 5-star hotels, but they may not be best-positioned for the game or post-match enjoyment. Ultimately, we stay at hotels that are convenient for reaching the game, so long as they have a rooftop bar and restaurant; our favourite way to enjoy 'apres-play' in India!
The night before each Test we'll have a 'roof-top dinner party' including drinks and lots of classic 'bread omelees' (above) where you will receive your awesome Bent Banani shirts and much-needed match tickets. One of the most important things we do for you is removing the hassle of trying to find that lone outlet, such as a bank, that distributes match tickets. We have that covered, as you will be!
Your match tickets will be in stands that are covered all day, though a touch of morning or afternoon sun may peek under the roof in some venues. Usually, we sit at 'fine-leg/third man' if not up and down the wicket but it depends wholly on the venue and their distribution of tickets. We've evolved from buying the 'cheap seats' at the 1996 Cricket World Cup and going home with a 3rd-degree sunburn, to paying for the much-appreciated comfort of an ever-shaded pavilion chair!
If you are one of the many independent cricket-lovers that prefer a low or no-grade hotel but still want to enjoy the cricket with us, our 'match tickets & dinner' option is for you. Join us the night before the game on our hotel roof-top when you'll receive your match tickets and shirts. We also have a dinner party on the night of day 5 to celebrate the win, that we cheer for Australia to achieve on Day 3!
Saying this, should the Test finish early, we will suggest places to invest your time if you don't just flop by the pool or tee-up on one of India's spectacular golf courses. Because of such vast choices & interests, we do not include any 'city sightseeing', leaving what you do, up to you.
With all of our Cricket Tours, you can do one Test or all, the 2nd & 3rd, or only the 4th. It's all up to you. With 4-Test Series in India, Australia will play 1 or 2 warm-up games before playing 2 Tests, have a 1-week break, and then play 2 Tests. Where we enjoy that break will be determined by where we play. We'd love to 'houseboat' the spectacular Kerala backwaters as we did in 2008, but only if the 2nd and/or 3rd Tests are in Bengaluru and/or Chennai. For example, it takes too much time to reach Kochi from New Delhi or Kolkata by train (as our preferred means), though 50+ domestic flights per day land in Kochi, so flying will remain an option.
Saying this, India is huge, and no matter what we do between the Tests it will be a unique adventure. If we play in New Delhi we can rail safari through Rajasthan. If we play in Kolkata, we can zig-zag north on the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train to India's highest railway station, Ghoom. If we play in Mohali we'll see the Golden Temple, Amritsar (below), the India Pakistan border closing, and enjoy the delightful toy train to Simla.
Of course, you are welcome to go where you like, by your preferred means. We do not lock you into spending any more time with us than you want. You can enjoy the 2nd Test with us, disappear for the week, and then join us for the 3rd Test. With many ways to invest a week between Tests, we patiently wait for the schedule before confirming what will be an outstanding optional tour.
On Australian Cricket Tours to India past, the break was spent at the Taj Mahal in Agra and playing cricket on the Yamuna River (above). In 2022 however, we will not do this. The reason being, there is a new express train from New Delhi to Agra that only takes 90mins, and so many good-guys that have toured India many times with us may not want to go again. If we play a Test Match at Feroz Shah Kotla, you can 'day-trip to Agra' by train to see 'the Taj', 'Baby Taj', and Agra Fort. We will organise this optional trip in advance to confirm train tickets.
Speaking of train travel, this Cricket Tour to India will see us 'back on track' (above) with spectacular Indian Railways between test matches included in our Hotel Tours. In 2001 we spent 272 hours on the rails between 3 Tour games, 3 Test Matches, and 5 ODI's, from Feb 17 to April 6. It was EPIC! More so because the last match was in Glorious Goa! If you are enjoying our Match Ticket & Dinner Tour, you may need to book your own railway journeys.
Train journeys will be optional* and most likely overnight depending on the cricket schedule. For example, Bengaluru to Chennai will be a 6-hour day train, whereas Chennai to New Delhi is 30 hours. These awesome adventures will be in 2nd Class Air-Con (2A). We'd prefer 1A but because of limited availability, we will use a single class with greater availability so we remain together.
*If you prefer to fly to the next city you can. You either have 8 nights in a hotel or 7 nights in a hotel and 1 night on the train for the same price.
As with many Australian Cricket Tours to India, we may not know the schedule until much closer to the time, and even then the dates remain fluid. Venues for the 2013 Tour starting Feb 12, were reversed on Jan 7, 2013. Someone decided it would be too cold to start in New Delhi and too hot to end in Chennai, so Chennai became the 1st Test, New Delhi the 4th. It was the same reason for the Feb 2017 series; too cold to start in Dharamsala, too hot to end in Pune. How long has India had annual weather patterns?
Understanding the flippancy of previous tours, the 2022 tour should start up north in Dharamsala / Mohali / New Delhi, and play south via Kolkata / Nagpur / Mumbai / Hyderabad to end in Bengaluru / Chennai. Should! Even with the uncertainty of dates and lottery of 23 Test venues, you can book our Australian Cricket Tour To India Oct 2022 and get ahead of the rest. Booking now gives you priority confirmation for any Test played in stunning Dharamsala in the Himalayas, to name one Test city with a very-limited hotel choice.
With the full tour scheduled to be played within the 1st week of October to the 1st week of November, it is fair to suggest (so you can start planning) that the 1st Test will start Oct 1-ish, with the 4th Test ending Nov 1-ish, with 3 T20's to follow (TBC).
India is an outstanding country to travel and watch cricket and we will be thrilled to help you experience this amazing tour for the first time or even again.
If you have queries about our Cricket Tour, please ask.