Inbound tours get green light, Aust series canned
The Black Caps’ tour to Australia this summer has been canned, but the Aussies will still make their scheduled visit to New Zealand.
The full domestic and international programme will be announced by New Zealand Cricket on Tuesday, but in speaking to media yesterday about the Government granting approval for upcoming inbound tours, chief executive David White said the series across the ditch had been postponed.
The Black Caps were scheduled to play three ODIs (January 26 in Adelaide, January 29 in Canberra and January 31 in Hobart) and one Twenty20 International (February 2 in Sydney).
But due to the chunk of time taken up by the required quarantine in both countries, and the Black Caps’ other home fixtures on the calendar, the trip across the Tasman has been deemed unfeasible.
‘‘It’s been decided that we won’t be going to Australia this year,’’ White said. ‘‘That 14-day managed isolation on both sides of the Tasman is a challenge.
‘‘We’ve worked with Cricket Australia on that and we’ll be fulfilling our obligations the following year.’’
With no scheduled tours until a trip to play Pakistan next October, it means the Black Caps will go 18 months with no play outside New Zealand, dating back to March when Covid-19 forced the cancellation of their three-match Chappell-Hadlee ODI series after game one.
Australia are still set to play five T20Is in New Zealand around
February, but that will come after the Aussies have finished their home commitments, so the quarantine periods aren’t an issue.
The Kiwi men’s international summer will start with a tour by the West Indies (three T20s, two tests), then Pakistan (three T20s, two tests), before Australia visit, then Bangladesh (three T20s, three ODIs) round out the fixtures.
Yesterday, the Government gave the green light to those initial West Indies and Pakistan tours, and White said they were ‘‘confident’’ the rest of the tours, which also include visits from the Australian and English women to take on the White Ferns, would also get the go ahead.
NZC is awaiting Government confirmation in the next week or so on where the touring squads will be based for their 14-day isolation, but White said it was shaping as Christchurch, with teams able to use the
Lincoln University performance centre facilities.
New Zealand’s Indian Premier League players – Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Jimmy Neesham, Lockie Ferguson and Mitchell Santner – will also go through the same quarantine process, ahead of the West Indies T20 tour opener.
White said, handily, those players would have Black Caps strength and conditioning coach Chris Donaldson with them in their bubble, as he is working at the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL franchise.
White said the inbound tours were a boon for NZ Cricket despite the hosts footing the bills.
‘‘It’s a huge boost for us. It’s our financial lifeline. International cricket funds the whole game of cricket in New Zealand, so it’s very, very important for us.
‘‘Certainly the benefits outweigh the costs.’’
Black Caps captain Kane Williamson and Australian counterpart Aaron Finch won’t be facing off in any ODIs this summer.