CA confirms Afghanistan Test, NZ ODIs on hold
Another change confirmed for the summer schedule, with upcoming matches against Afghanistan and New Zealand pushed back until 2021-22
25 September 2020, 03:30 PM AEST
Australia's planned historic maiden Test against Afghanistan has become the latest victim of the global coronavirus pandemic, with the one-off match slated for Perth later this year postponed until next summer.
Complexities surrounding international travel and quarantine requirements have also forced Cricket Australia to push back their proposed men's ODI series against New Zealand until 2021-22, meaning Virat Kohli's India will be the sole men's touring team to visit this summer.
Details of the four Test matches, three one-day internationals and three T20 internationals to be played between Australia and India are expected to be confirmed soon.
Under the speculative schedule released by CA last May, the Test against Afghanistan was to have been played at Perth Stadium in late November.
However, the rescheduling of the Indian Premier League (due to finish in early November) made it difficult for players competing in that tournament to then serve the mandatory two-week quarantine required upon entering Australia before the Test was due to start.
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.
But CA confirmed today 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".
The COVID19 pandemic has already put paid to Australia's planned two-Test tour to Bangladesh (last June), men's ODI campaign against Zimbabwe (August) and West Indies (October) as well as the ICC T20 World Cup originally due to be staged in Australia from next month.
CA indicated it was confident a suitable window could be found within the current ICC Future Tours Program (FTP), that maps out the complex playing schedule for international men's teams, to stage the postponed bilateral matches before the FTP's conclusion in 2023.
"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 today.
"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 international and domestic level."