Aus vs. NZ series delayed indefinitely as COVID curbs tighten for Kiwis
- The decision was announced unanimously by the cricket boards
- Chapell-Hadlee series was scheduled to start on January 24
- Australia vs Sri Lanka series dates will be announed soon
New Zealand's tour of Australia has been indefinitely postponed due to concerns over COVID-19 safety protocols for the visitors. The cricket boards of both countries announced the decision on Wednesday.
Chapell-Hadlee series, which was originally scheduled to take place between January 24 and February 9, 2021, consisted of three One Day matches. The limited over games would have been played in Perth, Hobart and Sydney. One additional 20 over game was planned for Canberra.
Chief Executive of New Zealand Cricket David White said in a statement, "NZC and CA (Cricket Australia) had explored a proposal to expand the tour and to push out the date on which the squad might return to New Zealand in the hope that might be more achievable for the government."
White made the announcement citing a "change of heart from the NZ government" on quarantine rules as omicron concerns grow around the globe. The new rules direct a hard 10 day quarantine for all incoming travellers.
The tickets for the games against New Zealand will be refunded, Cricket Australia said. Media reports suggest that the matches are likely to be postponed until next summer.
Australian cricket officials also shed doubt on the team's upcoming T20 Internationals series against Australia. The schedule for the series-- which was planned to start on February 11-- will be confirmed soon, officials said.
Nick Hockley, the chief of Cricket Australia said while announcing the news, "We know fans will be disappointed and thank them for their understanding given the unique circumstances that the global pandemic presents for everyone", according to media reports.
"We are extremely disappointed that we won’t be able to play the scheduled matches against New Zealand as planned, however, we will continue to work with New Zealand Cricket to reschedule the series", Hockley added in the statement.