In­bound tours get green light, Aust se­ries canned

The Timaru Herald - - Sport - Aaron Goile

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.’’

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GETTY IM­AGES

Black Caps cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson and Aus­tralian coun­ter­part Aaron Finch won’t be fac­ing off in any ODIs this sum­mer.

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