COVID-19 forces Australia vs Zimbabwe ODI series to be postponed

COVID-19 forces Australia vs Zimbabwe ODI series to be postponed

This was supposed to be Zimbabwe's first tour of Australia since 2003-04.

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Cricket Australia (CA) has announced Zimbabwe’s long-awaited tour of Australia 2020 has now been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The African side was supposed to tour Down Under for a three-match ODI series. This series was part of the proposed ICC ODI League which would have started from July 2020.

Earlier this month, Australia’s head coach Justin Langer had given a hint that his team is expecting to return to action by September. The series against Zimbabwe was scheduled in the month of August. The three matches were going to be played on August 9, 12 and 15. This was also going to be Zimbabwe’s first bilateral series in Australia since 2003. After playing a two-match Test series during that Australian summer, Zimbabwe took part as the third team in the Tri-Series which also featured India in early 2004.

Zimbabwe – Australia ODI series might get rescheduled for some other time

Cricket Australia has announced that two boards had come to a mutual conclusion keeping in mind ‘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.’

According to Cricbuzz, acting Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director, Givemore Makoni, said, “We were excited about facing Australia but, given the circumstances, deferring the tour was the only option. We are, however, looking forward to the rescheduling of the series as soon as practically possible.”

This is the second series involving Zimbabwe which has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Before this, a series against India at home was also postponed. Zimbabwe is now scheduled to host Afghanistan for a five-match T20I series at home in July and August. However, it is unlikely that the series will go ahead at this point.

For Australia, this is the second series at home which has been postponed. Earlier this March, the two ODI matches in the series against New Zealand also had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Australia’s tour of Bangladesh for the Test series has also been postponed. The Australian cricket team may return to action if England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) agree to schedule the limited-overs series which was supposed to take place in July originally.