Zimbabwe’s three-match ODI tour of Australia in early August has been postponed due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
Although the series had been included in the schedule put out last month it was always unlikely that the short series, which was set to be played in northern Australia, would be able to 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 August 9, 12, and 15 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 ODIs against New Zealand in March were cancelled after the opening game of the series was played behind closed doors at the SCG. 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.
“While we are disappointed to postpone the series, CA and ZC agree that in the best interest of players, match officials, volunteers as well as our fans, that this is the most practical and sensible decision,” CA’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley said. “We are committed to working with Zimbabwe Cricket on alternative dates to reschedule.”
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.”
There are ongoing discussions between CA and the ECB about Australia travelling in September for the ODI and T20I matches that were originally scheduled for July. The next scheduled home cricket for the men’s team is two T20I series against West Indies and India in early October although they are also likely to be moved if, as expected, the T20 World Cup is postponed.