All posts by News Desk

Sulking Ganguly wanted to issue show cause notice to Kohli after his PC: Report

Following the claims made by former India skipper Virat Kohli in his pre-departure conference to South Africa in December 2021, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly reportedly wanted to issue a show cause notice to the then India Test captain before the beginning of the ongoing tour to the rainbow nation.

Notably, ahead of the Indian team’s departure to South Africa, Kohli had addressed the press-conference and had claimed that no one from the BCCI or the selection committee had asked him to reconsider his decision to give up T20I captaincy. Kohli’s claim had contradicted Ganguly, who had earlier said that he had personally requested the run-machine to not leave the leadership role in the shortest format of the game.

Meanwhile, Kohli, 33 had also claimed that he was informed by the selectors that he won’t be the ODI captain anymore just one and a half hours before the Test squad for the South Africa series was announced and there was no prior communication on the same from Indian board.

Notably, Kohli’s claim didn’t go down well with the Indian board and now, reports suggest that Ganguly had prepared a draft letter and wanted to send a show cause notice to the former captian.

However, as Ganguly discussed the matter with the board members, they didn’t find it appropriate to issue a notice to the Test captain just before the start of a Test series.

“And the board president was all for issuing a show cause notice to Kohli,” a source close to the development was quoted as saying by India Ahead News.

Recemtly after losing the South Africa series, Kohli had also decided to leave the Test captaincy.

Reacting to his decision, Ganguly lauded Kohli for taking the team to new heights in all formats of the game and termed the decision as a personal one which even the board respects.

“Under Virat’s leadership Indian cricket has made rapid strides in all formats of the game… his decision is a personal one and bcci respects it immensely… he will be an important member to take this team to newer heights in the future. A great player. well done… @BCCI @imVkohli,” Ganguly said in his tweet.

Moreover, Kohli had also reportedly turned down an offer by the BBCI to play a farewwell match after he had stunned the cricketing world by announcing his departure as the Test captain of the Indian team.

As per a report in Hindustan Times (HT), the Indian board had offered a farewell match to Kohli and asked him to lead the Indian side for one last time in his 100th Test match. However, it has been learnt that Kohli refused to accept the offer and said: “One match makes no difference. That’s not how I am”.

After Kohli’s decision, the BCCI is most likley to appoint white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma as the new Test captain however, it is yet to make an official announcement.

So far, run-machine Kohli is the most successful Test captain India has ever had. Under Kohli, India played a total of 68 Test matches and won 40, drew 11, and lost in 17 matches.

Notably, Kohli had also led the Indian side to its maiden Test series win in Australia in 2018 beside winning a Test series in Sri Lanka and West Indies.

In 2021, Kohli guided the Indian side to secure an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match Test series against England beside leading his side to the final of the World Test Championship (WTC).

Mumbai Indians rope in Slice as principal sponsor for three years

Slice, one of India’s leading credit card challenger, on Thursday announced a three-year partnership with five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians.

As part of the deal, slice’s logo will appear on the front of all Mumbai Indians’ official jerseys. Making its debut in sports sponsorship with this partnership, slice will have the opportunity to connect with millions of passionate cricket fans across the globe.

Commenting on the development, Rajan Bajaj, Founder-CEO, slice said: “There is definitely zero correlation between a financial product and a cricket team. However, there are a lot of similarities between two teams who are relentlessly seeking for championship. Being the most successful teams in the IPL with 5 titles to its name, Mumbai Indians inspires not only millions of its fans, but also entrepreneurs like me with the team’s passion, focus, and persistent spirit. It’s the shared hunger for winning and excellence that bring us together.”

“With cricket being at the heart of Indian culture, we will together bring more excitement to this vibrant culture as well as take it to all the cricket lovers around the world,” he added.

On the other hand, Mumbai Indians spokesperson said: “We wanted to partner with a brand with whom we shared common values. Innovation, technology and a fan-centric approach are core values for Mumbai Indians as well as slice. We both share the vision of offering our fans a world-class experience with the drive and enthusiasm to be the best.”

“This deal is testament to how a millennial brand like slice trusts us as their preferred partner to connect with their young customers. It is truly about making a difference in the way cricket and financial products are perceived by our millennial and Gen Z fanbase,” the spokesperson added.

Notably, the deal with a young and exuberant brand like slice re-iterates the massive appeal that Mumbai Indians commands amongst the millennials.

Over the years, the five-time IPL Champion has built a strong global fan base as the most successful and followed T20 franchise globally and its playing kit is one of the most powerful marketing real estate in the country. Time and again, brands have chosen MI to launch and tell their stories to the world.

In November 2021, slice entered India’s prestigious Unicorn club after raising $220mn in its Series-B fundraise co-led by Tiger Global and Insight Partners. The company is building the best payment experience in India with its slice super card. Having registered a 40% month-on-month growth and over 7 million registered users, the company aims to launch its UPI product in 2022 and further enhance the payments experience of the millennials and Gen-Z in India.

Significantly, Mumbai Indians is one of the most successful team in the history of the IPL as it has so far won a total of five IPL titles in the 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 season. Also, this team has won a total of two Champions League trophies in 2011 and 2013.

The franchise commands immense brand value in the sporting world, with stakeholders trust, brand investment, fan engagement and performance. Brand Finance, a global brand valuation agency has recently accorded AA+ brand strength rating to Mumbai Indians.

Mumbai Indians has the reputation of a global sporting club with its far worldwide reach through digital presence, having close to 29 million fans engaged digitally across global.

Covid-19 forces CA to revise schedule for upcoming Sri Lanka T20I series

In a bid to minimise movement during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday announced the revised schedule and venues for the upcoming five-match T20I series between Australia and Sri Lanka.

The five-match affair, which will be held bweteen February 11 and 20, will now be played across three venues – the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Manuka Oval, and Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Notably, the second, third, and fourth T20Is have been relocated from Queensland and Adelaide to minimize biosecurity risks by reducing travel across the country.

Confirmring the development, CA CEO Nick Hockley issued a statement and said: “CA will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all players, match officials, staff, fans, broadcasters and the wider community as we navigate the challenges presented by Covid-19.”

“We know that fans in South Australia and Queensland will be disappointed to miss out on these matches and we remain committed to bringing international cricket to all states and territories across the country as safe as possible. We thank Sri Lanka Cricket for working closely with us to make the series possible and look forward to five entertaining matches,” he added.

Significantly, the sudden change in the schedule comes in the wake of the postponement of New Zealand’s white-ball tour of Australia.

Earlier on January 19 (Wednesday), the upcoming New Zealand‘s tour of Australia, which included three ODIs and a T20I, was postponed indefinitely due to quarantine issues. Australia and New Zealand were scheduled to play the three ODIs on January 30 and February 2 and 5 while the T20I was scheduled for February 8.

Notably, New Zealand’s quarantine issues and border controls matters were the key reasons behind the postponement of the white-ball fixtures.

Due to prevalent Omicron wave of Covid-19 infections, the New Zealand government had announced to impose a hard 10-day mandatory quarantine for everyone. The announcement meant that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) could not secure guarantees whether its players would be allowed back into the country.

After the development, reports suggested that CA and the NZC officials have discussed the possibility of rescheduling these matches in Australia.

Commenting on the issue, NZC chief executive David White had said: “As we now know, the advent of Omicron prompted a change of heart from the NZ Government, resulting in a hard 10-day mandatory isolation period being imposed on all incoming travellers. NZC and CA had explored a proposal to expand the tour and to push out the date on which the squad might return to New Zealand in the hope that might be more achievable for the Government.”

“Unfortunately, we received advice this morning that they could not provide certainty over this,” he had concluded.

On the other hand, Hockley had said: “We are extremely disappointed that we won’t be able to play the scheduled matches against New Zealand as planned, however we will continue to work with New Zealand Cricket to reschedule the series.”

“We thank NZC, who made every effort to make the series happen, however because they were unable to get certainty over return quarantine arrangements, it is simply just not possible at this time. We know fans will be disappointed and thank them for their understanding given the unique circumstances that the global pandemic presents for everyone. We look forward to welcoming Sri Lanka to Australia next month and will confirm the schedule for that series as soon as possible,” he had added.

Significantly, it was the third successive year when the white-ball fixtures between the two sides were postponed due to Covid concerns.

After the postponement of the fixtures, there are currently no One-Day Internationals schedule for the Australian team this summer.

Notably, the upcoming series was to make the final visit from retiring New Zealand great Ross Taylor, who had signed off from Test cricket earlier this month.

Revised T20I schedule:

February 11: Australia v Sri Lanka, Sydney Cricket Ground

February 13: Australia v Sri Lanka, Sydney Cricket Ground

February 15: Australia v Sri Lanka, Manuka Oval

February 18: Australia v Sri Lanka, Melbourne Cricket Ground

February 20: Australia v Sri Lanka, Melbourne Cricket Ground

BCCI committee recommends rescheduling West Indies ODIs and T20Is

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Tours and Fixtures Committee has reportedly recommended that the upcoming three-match One-Day International (ODI) series and the three-match T20I series between India and West Indies to be played in Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

The Indian board however, is yet to make an annoucement on the matter.

Originally, the six games were scheduled to be held between February 6 and 20 six venues – Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Cuttack, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram. However, due to the current operational constraints arising out of the spike in Covid-19 cases, the BCCI Committee has recommended to stage the series across two venues.

The committe has reportedly recommended to stage the two series in Ahmedabad and Kolkata was passed to the office bearers on Wednesday evening.

On the other hand, reports also suggested that West Indies Cricket don’t have any issues with the last-minute change in venues. CWI has confirmed that they will be happy to accept any changes as long as the strict Covid protocols are followed as their priority is nothing but players’ safety.

“A request for such a change has not reached to me as yet. But we accept such operational actions by local boards in the interest of what is best for implementing health protocols,” CWI chief Ricky Skerritt was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

The Windies team is scheduled to arrive in Ahmedabad on February 1 following which they will undergo a three-day isolation period. The tourist will begin their practice sessions in the next two days before the matches begin.

Notably, Team India have a packed home schedule in the ongoing year with the focus on the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be staged in Australia later this year.

After the West Indies tour, India are slated to play a T20 series against Sri Lanka and South Africa at home.

Earlier in December 2021, the emergence of several Covid-19 positive cases in the West Indies camp in Karachi has led to the postponement of three-match ODI series between Windies and hosts Pakistan.

The two boards – Pakistan Cricket board (PCB) and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) – had then jointly decided to push the ODI series to June 2022.

“Taking into consideration both the teams’ welfare as well as limited resources in the West Indies side for the ODIs, it has been agreed that the series, which forms part of the ICC Men’s Cricket Word Cup Super League, will be postponed and rescheduled for early June 2022,” the two boards had den said in a joint statement.

ICC U19 World Cup: India skipper Yash Dhull, 5 other players test positive for Covid-19

The India Under-19 cricket team, which is currently participating in the ICC Under 19 World Cup 2022 in the West Indies, has been hit by the Covid-19 infection as six players, including captain Yash Dhull have tested positive for the deadly virus.

Meanwhile, vice-captain SK Rasheed has also contracted the infection.

According to a report in Cricbuzz, half a dozen of the India U-19 cricketers have contracted the infection and are currently in isolation.

“We understand that some players have come in close contact with Covid positive players and as a measure of precaution the players have been isolated. The fact that they are playing Ireland has helped the team management. The team wants to avoid risk ahead of the bigger games,” a source was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

As per reports, Aaradhya Yadav, Vasu Vats, Manav Parakh and Siddharth Yadav are the other players who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Earlier befoer the start of the tournamnt, the ICC had said that it will be flexible in its approach and will avoid a strict bio-bubble environment.

Talking to a select media group before the start of the tournament, ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice had said: “We have to be flexible and nimble with the schedule. Our focus has been to make this event happen. You will probably get positive tests at some stage. We will be flexible. It is not going to be that one positive case and stop them (the tournament). We are going to be as pragmatic as possible with the aim to complete the tournament. We are running and managing an environment which is not a strict bubble.”

“We are taking precautions with the players. We will try and keep them as isolated as possible. It is a balance between risk of catching virus and freedom the young people will be looking for to enjoy the atmosphere of the Under 19 World Cup,” he had added.

Earlier in November 2021, the New Zealand Under-19 team had decided to withdraw from the ongoing tournament due to mandatory quarantine restrictions for minors following which it was replaced by Scotland in competitive Group D, which also features hosts West Indies, Australia and Sri Lanka.

In the ongoing tournament, defending champions Bangladesh is placed in Group A alongside England, Canada and UAE while four-time champions India, one of the most successful team in the event’s history, are placed with South Africa, Ireland and Uganda in Group B.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, PNG and Zimbabwe compose Group C.

As per the schedule, the tournament is being held across 10 venues in four countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.

Significantly, the ongoing edition is the fourteenth edition of the U19 Cricket World Cup and for the first time it is being staged in the West Indies.

Karachi-leg of PSL 2022 to allow 25 percent crowd attendance

The Karachi-leg of the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2022 will allow 8,000 spectators as the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wedneday approved 25 percent crowd attendance for it.

However, the NCOC has barred children under the age of 12 from entering the stadium.

Notably, the Karachi-leg will stage PSL matches from January 27 and February 7 before it moves to Lahore.

However, to ensure the health and safety of all the players and the attendees, the spectators’ entry will be subject to strict Covid-19 protocols.

As per the protocols, individuals above the age of 12 years must be fully vaccinated, valid vaccination certificates must be shown at the time gaining access to the stadium, wearing of masks inside the venue will be mandatory and violating the NCOC guidelines shall be liable to be evicted out of the stadium.

Commenting on the development, PCB Chief Operating Officer and HBL PSL Tournament Director Salman Naseer said: “Spectators are the essence of any sport event and in this background, we now hope to set the stage with 25 per cent crowds to attend the Karachi matches of the HBL PSL 2022. As a responsible organisation, we completely understand our obligations in relation to health and safety of the fans and will leave no stone unturned in strictly implementing the NCOC guidelines.”

“However, we will also require complete and unconditional support from the spectators so that they and others can continue to enjoy the matches in a safe and secure environment. This is something they can do by simply following the guidelines,” he added.

Meanwhile, the PCB has said that the NCOC will make a decision on the Lahore-leg matches, scheduled in the Gaddafi stadium between 10-27 February, in the coming time.

Earlier, the PCB had announced that the upcoming PSL season will be staged in two phases with the first one to be held in Karachi while the second and last phase will be held in Lahore. Each phase will consist of 15 matches each.

Following an opening ceremony, defending champions Multan Sultans will take on hosts and 2020 champions Karachi Kings at the National Stadium in Karachi, which will begin at 7pm PKT.

Later, 2019 champions Quetta Gladiators will face 2017 winners Peshawar Zalmi on the following day.

The PCB had further announced that final will be held in Lahore.

Schedule for PSL 7:

{Matches from January 27 to February 7 will be played in Karachi; matches from Feb 10-27 to be played in Lahore)

27 Jan – Karachi Kings vs Multan Sultans

28 Jan – Quetta Gladiators vs Peshawar Zalmi

29 Jan – Multan Sultans vs Lahore Qalandars; Karachi Kings vs Quetta Gladiators

30 Jan – Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United; Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars

31 Jan – Quetta Gladiators vs Multan Sultans

1 Feb – Islamabad United vs Multan Sultans

2 Feb – Peshawar Zalmi vs Lahore Qalandars

3 Feb – Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United

4 Feb – Karachi Kings vs Peshawar Zalmi

5 Feb – Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars; Peshawar Zalmi vs Multan Sultans

6 Feb – Karachi Kings vs Islamabad United

7 Feb – Quetta Gladiators vs Lahore Qalandars

10 Feb – Multan Sultans vs Peshawar Zalmi

11 Feb – Lahore Qalandars vs Multan Sultans

12 Feb – Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators

13 Feb – Peshawar Zalmi vs Karachi Kings; Lahore Qalandars vs Quetta Gladiators

14 Feb – Islamabad United vs Karachi Kings

15 Feb – Peshawar Zalmi vs Quetta Gladiators

16 Feb – Multan Sultans vs Karachi Kings

17 Feb – Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi

18 Feb – Multan Sultans vs Quetta Gladiators; Lahore Qalandars vs Karachi Kings

19 Feb – Lahore Qalandars vs Islamabad United

20 Feb – Quetta Gladiators vs Karachi Kings; Multan Sultans vs Islamabad United

21 Feb – Lahore Qalandars vs Peshawar Zalmi

23 Feb – Qualifier (1 vs 2)

24 Feb – Eliminator 1 (3 vs 4)

25 Feb – Eliminator 2 (Loser Qualifier 1 vs Winner Eliminator 1)

27 Feb – (Qualifier v Eliminator 2) Final

Ottis Gibson appointed head coach of Yorkshire

Yorkshire County Cricket Club, one of the most successful cricket clubs in the world, on Tueday announced the appointment of former West Indies cricketer Ottis Gibson as its head coach on a three-year contract.

After the development, Gibson will start work from the end of February 2022.

Issuing a statement, the club said that Ottis will report to the interim Managing Director Darren Gough, and will have overall responsibility for the performance and management of the first team.

Gibson will be supported by two assistant coaches, who will be appointed shortly, the club announced.

Notably, Gibson carries a wealth of coaching experience as he had previously performed the role of Head Coach for the West Indies and South Africa, and the bowling coach for England and Bangladesh cricket team.

Gibson, 52, also carries a vast county cricket experience as he representing Durham, Glamorgan and Leicestershire across both red and white ball games.

Significantly, Gibson had made history in 2007 after taking ten wickets in an innings against Hampshire for Durham.

Commenting on the development, Professor The Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Ottis to the Club. His playing and coaching credentials speak for themselves and he has had a distinguished career performing at the highest level. Ottis’ character and his commitment to buying into the process that we are going through at Yorkshire County Cricket Club shone through in our discussions.”

“He is someone that I know will encourage dialogue and help foster a culture of inclusion at the Club, as well as supporting and developing the world class talent we have here and pushing them to the next level. I look forward to working with Ottis over the coming weeks and months as we continue our rebuild of the Club,” he added.

Meanwhile, an elated Gibson said: “I’m extremely honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to join Yorkshire County Cricket Club as Head Coach. This is one of the most prestigious roles in English County Cricket, and I am really looking forward to working with this talented group of players to take the club forward.”

“I’ve spoken at length with Goughy about the direction the club is heading in and I’m excited to be a part of that future,” he added.

On the other hand, Darren Gough, Managing Director of Cricket, Yorkshire County Cricket Club: “Ottis becoming Head Coach is an important moment for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and we are very happy that he has become part of the team. Ottis is one of the best coaches in the world and will be a fantastic addition. His knowledge, commitment, experience and cricket know-how will be vital for us as we move into pre-season and get ourselves up and running.”

“We were absolutely blown away by the level of interest and quality of candidates for this role, but I have no doubt that he’s the best person for the job and will pick up the challenge with relish,” Gough further expressed.

After the announcement, Ottis will join the county club once his contract with the Multan Sultans in the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) ends next month.

Sania Mirza announces to retire after 2022 season

After going down in her first-round clash in women’s doubles at the ongoing Australian Open, ace Indian tennis player Sania Mirza on Wednesday announced that 2022 will be her final season on the WTA tour.

On Wedneday, Sania, 35, and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok, seeded 12th, lost 4-6, 6-7 to the unseeded Slovenian pair of Kaja Juvan and Tamara Zidansek in the affair which lasted for an hour and 36 minutes.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Sania said: “There’s a few reasons for it. It’s not as simple as ‘okay I’m not going to play’. I do feel my recovery is taking longer, I’m putting my three-year-old son at risk by travelling so much with him, that’s something I have to take into account.”

“I think my body is wearing down. My knee was really hurting today and I’m not saying that’s the reason we lost but I do think that it is taking time to recover as I’m getting older,” Sania added after her match at the Melbourne Park.

“Also for me to find that motivation everyday to come out. The energy is not the same anymore. There are more days than there used to be where I don’t feel like doing that. I’ve always said that I will play until I enjoy that grind, the process which I’m not sure I’m enjoying as much anymore,” the 35-year-old added.

Significantly, Sania is a former world No. 1 in doubles and had a career-best ranking of 27 in singles.

Currently, Sania is currently ranked 68th in the world.

“I have a bit of a meniscus issue going on my right knee, I woke up with wrist pain a couple of days ago. At 35, I am waking up with a couple of things that I don’t know where they’re coming from! I want to finish the season, to at least play until the US Open, that is my goal. But I still have to take it week-to-week,” Sania revealed.

After this, Sania is scheduled to play mixed doubles with fellow Grand Slam champion Rajeev Ram of the United Satates.

“If this is my last Grand Slam, it is a great way to go out to play with someone who I’ve known since I was 12 years old and we’ll just try to have fun on the court,” Sania expressed.

Notably, Sania is the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam. She has won Majors in doubles along with medals at Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

Sania’s last Slam came at the 2016 Australian Open with Martina Hingis.

After her maternity break in 2018, Sania has not featured on the WTA tour regularly. Later, the Covid-19 pandemic also halted her comeback in 2020.

Sania had last won a title in September 2021, when she had won her 43rd doubles trophy at the Ostrava Open with China’s Shuai Zhang.

ACA confident of selected Aussie players touring of Pakistan

Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) CEO Todd Greenberg has reckoned that all the Australian players selected for the upcoming month-long tour of Pakistan will not have any reservations touring the country in March-April this year.

Notably, Australia is scheduled to play three Tests, as many ODIs and a one-off T20 International on their Pakistan tour, which will begin with the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi on March 3. Significantly, the upcoming tour will be Australia’s maiden tour of Pakistan since 1998.

The last time when Australia had toured Pakistan in 1998, the Mark Taylor-led touring side had won the three-Test series 1-0.

“I think everyone will go,” Greenberg was quoted as saying by sen.com.au on Wednesday.

“It’s a very significant tour with three Test matches. Talking to (the) players, they want to test themselves against the very best in the world and they want to play in different conditions,” he added.

After the recently concluded Ashes seires, Australia’s focus will now be on Pakistan tour as it would be very significant for Test players like Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja.

Although Labuschagne may be the No.1 ranked Test bastman globally, however, he is to play a Test in the sub-continent. On the other hand, Khawaja, who had slammed centuries in both the innings of the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), would aim to repeat the good show in Pakistan.

“As Australians, we’ve got a duty to the broader international game to continue to play cricket (overseas),” Greenberg said.

“We can’t just expect teams to continue to tour Australia and for us not to make that same level of commitment,” he added.

Meanwhile, Greenberg further admitted that Australia not touring Pakistan in the last 24 years was because of the turmoil in the country. He however, said that Cricket Australia (CA) will do everything possible to ensure the highest security measures are in place.

“We’re not taking any chance and we’re doing everything possible to protect them… not just to the players but their families. We’ll take a really strong team and players will embrace that opportunity,” he added.

The upcoming Test series beween touring Australia and hosts Pakistan will be played as part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), while the ODIs will be connected to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team event from which the seven highest-placed sides and the hosts, India, will qualify directly for the event proper in 2023.

Last year, New Zealand had abandoned their limited-overs tour of Pakistan in September due to security issues and had flown out from the country. The series was abandoned just few hours before the start of the first ODI.

Later, the England men’s and women’s teams had also called off their short tours to Pakistan before the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE. Notably, England was looking at the tour as a prepration for the showpiece event, who was held in the UAE.

BlackCaps’ tour of Australia postponed due to quarantine issues

The upcoming New Zealand‘s tour of Australia, which included three ODIs and a T20I, has been postponed indefinitely due to quarantine issues.

The trans-tasman rivals were scheduled to play the three ODIs on January 30 and February 2 and 5 while the T20I was scheduled for February 8. Notably, New Zealand’s quarantine issues and border controls matters were the key reasons behind the postponement of the white-ball fixtures.

Due to prevalent Omicron wave of Covid-19 infections, the New Zealand government has announced to impose a hard 10-day mandatory quarantine for everyone. The announcement meant that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) could not secure guarantees whether its players would be allowed back into the country.

After the development, reports have suggested that Cricket Australia (CA) and the NZC officials have discussed the possibility of rescheduling these matches in Australia.

Commenting on the issue, NZC chief executive David White said: “As we now know, the advent of Omicron prompted a change of heart from the NZ Government, resulting in a hard 10-day mandatory isolation period being imposed on all incoming travellers. NZC and CA had explored a proposal to expand the tour and to push out the date on which the squad might return to New Zealand in the hope that might be more achievable for the Government.”

“Unfortunately, we received advice this morning that they could not provide certainty over this,” he concluded.

On the other hand, CA chief executive Nick Hockley said: “We are extremely disappointed that we won’t be able to play the scheduled matches against New Zealand as planned, however we will continue to work with New Zealand Cricket to reschedule the series.”

“We thank NZC, who made every effort to make the series happen, however because they were unable to get certainty over return quarantine arrangements, it is simply just not possible at this time. We know fans will be disappointed and thank them for their understanding given the unique circumstances that the global pandemic presents for everyone. We look forward to welcoming Sri Lanka to Australia next month and will confirm the schedule for that series as soon as possible,” he added.

Significantly, it is the third successive year when the white-ball fixtures between the two sides have been postponed due to Covid concerns.

After the postponement of the fixtures, there are currently no One-Day Internationals schedule for the Australian team this summer.

Notably, the upcoming series was to make the final visit from retiring New Zealand great Ross Taylor, who had signed off from Test cricket earlier this month.