Aussie summer of cricket in turmoil
The historic first ever Test match between Australia and Afghanistan scheduled to be played in Perth this summer is off.
Three One-Day internationals against New Zealand set for this summer have also been postponed until the 2021-22 season in a major boost for the Big Bash League and Cricket Australia's ongoing negotiation with broadcasters Channel 7 and Fox Sports.
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In particular, the shifting of the ODIs against the Black Caps in late January gives the BBL an uninterrupted window leading into the finals where Australia's superstars will be available for franchises, going at least some way to appeasing the concerns of the TV networks who are after discounts.
The "complexity of scheduling international matches during the global coronavirus pandemic" resulted in all three country's cricket boards agreeing the need to postpone the matches.
The rescheduled Indian Premier League is due to finish in early November, the same month as the Test, which would have 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.
Cricket Australia remains confident that it will find suitable windows for each postponed match to be played, hopefully sometime before 2023.
But with World Cups in each of the next two years, a world Test Championship final in England next year, and bilateral series including the Ashes to be played in Australia next summer, finding that time could prove difficult.
The Australian men's team will still host India for four Tests, three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals through December and January.
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's Interim CEO, said Australia wanted to host Afghanistan and New Zealand in the near future.
"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," 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."
Details of the four Test matches, three one-day internationals and three T20 internationals to be played against India are expected to be confirmed soon.
The three ODIs against the Kiwis were to have been staged in Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Sydney from late January.
The COVID19 pandemic has already cost 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 T20 World Cup originally due to be staged in Australia from next month.
Originally published as Aussie summer of cricket in turmoil