No Australian ODIs for Black Caps
India have flexed their financial and political muscle, forcing Cricket Australia to reshape its 2019-20 fixture list and drop a home one-day series against New Zealand in favour of a short tour of India.
Under the new Future Tours Programme, Australia are scheduled to complete a threematch one-day international tour of India in late January, already a rare occurrence for an Australian side to leave home shores in the peak of summer.
CA had sought to shift the series to later in the year but the Board of Control for Cricket in India has refused this request, and has insisted it even begin several days earlier.
This has meant CA has had to drop a threematch one-day series against the Black Caps, slated to begin days after the New Year’s test against New Zealand in Sydney ends.
It’s understood New Zealand Cricket has agreed to the series being postponed, although it’s another blow in the chequered history of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.
‘‘We have been working hard to rejig the schedule to fit a change in dates for the two ODI series, at home with New Zealand and away with India, on the back end of the Sydney test but there are necessary trade-offs,’’ a CA spokesperson said.
‘‘As a sport, we are fortunate that we have three formats, a compelling international and domestic offering for both men and women. Complexities are bound to and often arise.
‘‘What we are working through is a solution that sees us honouring our commitments to overseas boards, being flexible to their changing needs, balanced with the need to schedule a summer of cricket that works for the fans. We are confident we will find a way to deliver, with some trade-offs.’’
CA faced the threat of millions of dollars of financial recompense had the Indian series been postponed and, ultimately, agreed to the BCCI’s request.
That the series had been scheduled in the first place and has been known about for some time has raised eyebrows and gave new CA chief executive Kevin Roberts little room to move.
India’s decision also has implications for the Big Bash League, for had the series been shifted, it would have allowed several international stars to prominently feature in the Twenty20 tournament in the peak of summer – a major issue last summer.
That the length of the BBL – but not the number of matches – is likely to be shortened next summer means there could be no time for those players on the Indian ODI tour to return in time to play a part in the BBL.