Cricket Australia has put two international series – the one-off maiden Test against Afghanistan and the One Day Internationals against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand – on hold. The decision is taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The one-off historic Test, scheduled for later this year at Perth, has been deferred to the next summer Down Under. The ODI series against the Kiwis too is put off till 2020-21.
The three-match ODI series against New Zealand (which initially also included a T20I) was to have been staged in Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Sydney from late January.
Cricket Australia has stated the COVID-19 related strict protocols like conducting games in a bio-secure bubble and mandatory quarantine of the overseas teams on their arrival as the main reason to postpone the series. However, the decision might have also been influenced by the poor health of the CA.
Australia, however, will go ahead with the upcoming home series against India. The Virat Kohli-led Indians will be flying to Australia straight from the UAE after the Indian Premier League 2020 final, scheduled for November 10.
The schedule for the four-Test series, three One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals for the Australia-India series is expected to be confirmed soon.
CA has confirmed that following discussions with the Afghanistan and NZ cricket boards the decision had been made to delay those matches until next summer due to “the complexity of scheduling international matches during the global coronavirus pandemic”.
“Cricket Australia looks forward to working with our good friends at the Afghanistan Cricket Board and New Zealand Cricket to deliver the matches at a time when, hopefully, the restrictions brought on by the COVID19 pandemic have eased,” CA’s interim Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley said.
“We all worked incredibly hard to make the series happen this summer, but the challenges around international travel and quarantine restrictions ultimately convinced all parties that the series would need to be played at a later date.
“CA looks forward to welcoming the Indian men’s team for a full schedule of matches this summer in what promises to be an incredible contest across all three formats.
“CA would also like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful partners for their understanding and support as we have navigated the complexities of hosting international sport during a pandemic to deliver a thrilling summer across men’s and women’s cricket at the international and domestic level.”