When the AFL is deemed safe to resume after the season shutdown, the league will consider shortening its fixture into a best-of-three Grand Final series. This means that the 2020 AFL season is likely to conclude well beyond its usual dates in September.
That said, players are more than willing to finish the season in the latter weeks of December. However, the AFL Grand Final will not take place alongside the ICC and CA’s Boxing Day blockbuster.
December is the month of major cricket events in Australia. This includes the Men’s T20 World Cup which will occupy most of Australia’s biggest stadiums starting in the month of October as well as the Big Bash League which begins in December.
With the AFL’s decider still up in the air, venues where the matches will take place are likely to have been decided by the league. This means that conflict will arise and disrupt the AFL season further, even if the games are played behind closed doors.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan talked about his insight that the resumed AFL season will coincide with Australia’s cricket season. However, he refuted the plot to steal the Australian cricket’s thunder with its Boxing Day Grand Final.
‘I’ve been talking to other sports on other fronts, we will all work together’, McLachlan said in a radio interview. ‘There are enough venues and enough good will that all the problems will be able to be worked through with venues and other sports. I would imagine that all of that stuff can be worked through if necessary’.
He mentioned that compromises are expected to be made with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket Australia (CA).
‘I reckon Boxing Day is important to cricket’, he said. ‘It’s Melbourne’s Test match day and if that’s going ahead I reckon we’d be churlish to say we’re going to play on Boxing Day. If it got to that late we’d be working with all the sports to make it work for everyone’.
It is likely that the AFL Grand Final will take place in the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne or Perth Stadium.