Australia’s T20I series against West Indies postponed; players will be now available for IPL 2020
The next assignment for Australia is expected to be a limited-overs tour of England in early September, although that is yet to be confirmed.
Updated - Aug 4, 2020 9:18 am
The much-awaited IPL 2020 is set to hit the floors from September 19th in the UAE amid COVID-19 pandemic. The sports ministry has given permission for staging the postponed tournament and fans are finally set to witness the T20 extravaganza this year.
IPL will be staged four days beyond the usual 49-day window to avoid the number of doubleheaders. Moreover, the players will be residing in a biosecure bubble to curb the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Ahead of the tournament, the availability of Australia and West Indies players was an issue as both the sides were going to clash in a T20I series in early October.
However, the series has officially been postponed, making T20 players from both teams available to play in the IPL in the UAE. The decision was communicated on Tuesday after discussion between both the cricket boards.
The three-match series, with games at Townsville, Cairns and the Gold Coast on October 4, 6 and 9 respectively, was slated just before the start of T20 World Cup. But with ICC shifting the showpiece event to 2021, there was no point in hosting the T20I series due to its logistic overheads.
India’s T20Is against Australia are also expected to be postponed
Similarly, India are also scheduled to play three T20Is against Australia on October 11, 14 and 17. However, according to the reworked plan of the IPL, the T20I series is expected to be pushed further after India’s Test and ODI series Down Under.
The next assignment for Australia is expected to be a limited-overs tour of England in early September, although that is yet to be confirmed. With the red ball, Australia are going to clash with Afghanistan at home in a one-off Test, followed by the much-awaited four-match Test series against India starting from December.
Despite the cancellation of T20I series against West Indies, players from Australia and England will miss the first week of the competition as their bilateral series will conclude on September 16. Though the series will conclude four days before the start of the IPL, the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in UAE requires overseas travellers to undergo a week’s quarantine and two COVID-19 tests.