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Cricket Australia postpone Afghanistan, New Zealand contests until next year

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Cricket Australia (CA) announced that the solitary Test match against Afghanistan and the 3-match ODI series against New Zealand, which were scheduled to be played this Australian summer, have been postponed until 2021/22.

In a media release, CA stated that the complexity of scheduling International matches amidst the COVID-19 pandemic forced all three boards to postpone the matches. Nick Hockley, stand-in CEO of Cricket Australia, said, “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.” 

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“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 also assured in its statement that it is confident of finding suitable windows for each postponed match to be played within the current FTP period that concludes in 2023.

With the Afghanistan and New Zealand series pushed further to 2021, the only team that Australia will be hosting this summer is India. India, current holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, will look to defend the title across four Tests, in addition to playing three ODIs and T20Is each. 

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“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,” said Hockley. “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.”