COVID-19 & CRICKET
Apart from the 2015 World Cup, Zimbabwe haven’t toured Australia since 2004. © AFP
Zimbabwe’s long wait to tour Australia continues as their three-match ODI series has been postponed on expected lines due to Covid-19, Cricket Australia confirmed on Tuesday (June 30).
Earlier this month, Australia’s head coach Justin Langer had already hinted that this tour was unlikely to go ahead while revealing his side will be focusing on returning to action by September. The three 50-over games were initially scheduled to take place on August 9, 12 and 15.
The last time Australia hosted Zimbabwe in their home summer for a bilateral series was in 2003-04 when the two teams were involved in a two-match Test series which was then followed by a tri-series with India being the third team.
Cricket Australia confirmed that the two boards came to a mutual conclusion considering ‘the short length of the series, the significant bio-security measures that would need to be implemented prior to August, and concern for the health and safety of players, match officials, and volunteers.’
“We were excited about facing Australia but, given the circumstances, deferring the tour was the only option,” Acting Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director, Givemore Makoni, said. “We are, however, looking forward to the rescheduling of the series as soon as practically possible.”
This is the second high-profile assignment Zimbabwe have lost to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic having already seen the India series getting postponed. They are now scheduled to host Afghanistan for five T20Is at home in July-August which also now looks unlikely to go ahead at this point.
Australia on the other hand saw their final two home ODI games against New Zealand get postponed due to the virus and they have also decided against touring Bangladesh this month for the Test series. However, they might return to action in September in England if the CA and ECB manage to work on a schedule for a limited-overs series which was originally supposed to be played in July.
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