No Aus­tralian ODIs for Black Caps

Nelson Mail - - Sport -

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.

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