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The Covid-19 pandemic has officially claimed two more major sporting events with Cricket Australia confirming the one-off Test match against Afghanistan and three one-day internationals against New Zealand have been postponed until the 2021-22 season.
Given current border restrictions and quarantine guidelines, CA said on Friday the “complexity” of scheduling international matches had led to all three nations agreeing to put the matches on hold until the season after next.
“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,” said Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s interim chief executive.
CA is embroiled in a broadcasting standoff with Channel Seven, which has expressed deep concerns over paying for the prospect of a lighter summer schedule due to the pandemic. The broadcaster has demanded a discount and withheld its last payment to CA earlier this month. CA had previously insisted its intention was to provide a full summer schedule and as such refused to offer a discount.
Australia were scheduled to play their first home Test against Afghanistan in Perth from 21 November and three ODIs against New Zealand later in the summer. The men’s national team will, however, host India for four Test matches, three ODIs and three T20s. The 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.
The coronavirus outbreak has already forced the postponement of the Twenty20 World Cup, which was to have been held in Australia in October and November, along with Australia’s warmup T20 matches against West Indies. Australia also postponed a proposed two-Test tour of Bangladesh in June, part of the ICC’s World Test Championship, due to the pandemic.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Cricket Australia postpones Afghanistan Test and New Zealand ODI series | Australia cricket team