Cricket fans across Australia are likely to be finalising their preparations for a trip to Tasmania next week, with the national side set to take on cross-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the Second Test Match of the Vodafone series.
With the first Test being played in Brisbane this week, the second and final game from December 9 to 13 at picturesque Bellerive (newly named for sponsor Blundstone) Oval will decide the series outcome.
It promises to be an exciting event in a hugely important summer for the Australian cricket team, as a new captain, coach and selection panel aim to impress on home soil and begin the climb back up the world rankings.
The Oval in Hobart traditionally provides some of the best cricket matches of the season – excellent batting conditions and a small ground ensure plenty of entertainment for the crowd.
It's hard to beat the atmosphere of the first morning of a Test match and if the sun is out spectators will be treated to a relaxed and enjoyable day out, as well as a closer view of the action than found anywhere else in the country.
Former Australian captain and Tasmanian cricket fans' favourite son Ricky Ponting may well be playing at his home ground for the final time, meaning the match record attendance for the ground of 12,254 is in jeopardy.
New Zealand has openly stated its belief that the Aussies are more vulnerable than ever and it will be interesting see if they can take their fighting words onto the field.
Just this week Kiwi pace bowler Doug Bracewell declared his side had the "mongrel" to rattle its more fancied opposition.
"There's definitely no fear of Australia at all," Bracewell said.
The Tasmanian sports calendar continues to grow stronger every year with event organisers, international teams and star athletes from around the world viewing the island state as a desirable destination to compete and spend time.