Last week, the Cricket Australia has announced that Australia’s one-off men’s Test against Afghanistan and the three-match ODI series against New Zealand has been postponed until the 2021-22 season, citing the threats of the coronavirus pandemic. The Test, which was to be Australia’s first against Afghanistan, was scheduled to be played in Perth in November.
According to the original schedule, Afghanistan would have competed in the T20 World Cup in Australia before staying in the country for the Test. However, with the postponement of the tournament, now slated to commence in 2022, Afghanistan was asked to do two-week quarantine. Not to mention that Australia still has border restrictions that also affected the decision.
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“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 COVID-19 pandemic have eased,” CA’s interim CEO Nick Hockley said. Meanwhile, Australia is still set to host big drawcard India this summer for four Tests, three ODIs and three T20s.
“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.”
New Zealand was scheduled to play Australia in three ODIs and a T20 international in January and February, with Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Sydney the venues chosen, while Australia’ women’s team kick off their summer on Saturday with the first of three T20s against New Zealand in Brisbane. Three ODIs follow at the same venue.
“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 international and domestic level,” Hockley added.
The coronavirus pandemic has halted series and shattered the cricket calendar for this year. The first four rounds of the Shield season will be followed by the Big Bash League, which will start in December. CA is also planning to stage the remainder of the Sheffield Shield season, the Women’s National Cricket League, and the men’s One-Day Cup in 2021.
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