ZIMBABWE 3-MATCH ODIS IN AUSTRALIA POSTPONED

Zimbabwe’s three-match One Day International Cricket tour of Australia in early August has been postponed due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Although the series, which was set to be played in northern Australia, had been included in the schedule put out last month it was always unlikely it would take place.

A range of issues have prevented the games from being played including 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.

Speaking earlier this month Justin Langer indicated the matches were not on his radar when he spoke about getting the players ready for a potential return to action in September with the possibility of a rescheduled limited-overs tour to England.

The matches were due to be played on 9th, 12th, and 15th August although only the third game had a venue confirmed with Townsville.

It is the first full home series Australia have lost due to COVID-19 although the final two One Day Internationals against New Zealand in March were cancelled after the opening game of the series was played behind closed doors at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Their Test tour to Bangladesh in June was also postponed.

Outside of the 2015 World Cup it would have been Zimbabwe’s first visit to Australia since taking part in a tri-series in 2004 and Cricket Australia said they were committed to finding a future slot for the matches. Since COVID-19 struck, Zimbabwe have also lost series against Ireland, Afghanistan and India.

There are ongoing discussions between Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board about Australia travelling in September for the One Day International and Twenty/20 International matches that were originally scheduled for July.

The next scheduled home cricket for the men’s team is two Twenty/20 International series against West Indies and India in early October although they are also likely to be moved if, as expected, the Twenty/20 World Cup is postponed.