New Zealand limited-overs tour of Australia postponed

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Four-match tour to Australia won’t go ahead due to uncertainty surrounding New Zealand government’s MIQ rules

New Zealand’s upcoming four-match ODI and T20I tour Australia has been postponed due to uncertainty over when the Black Caps could return home due to New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine rules.

The tour, which was scheduled to begin in Perth with three ODIs on January 30 and February 2 and 5 and a one-off T20 match on February 8, had been in limbo for some time due to Western Australia’s hard border and New Zealand’s travel restrictions.

Travel into New Zealand is still capped due to Covid-19 and all travellers, including citizens, have to do 10-days of MIQ on arrival. Due to those rules, the Black Caps were planning to send a squad to Australia without their Test players.

NZ Cricket and Cricket Australia drew up a proposal for the tour to be lengthened from January 24 to February 9 to allow the Black Caps to return to do their MIQ at a manageable time but New Zealand’s government confirmed on Wednesday it had no capacity to meet the request.

NZC chief executive David White said the tour was initially scheduled after the New Zealand government signalled its intention to relax MIQ restrictions relating to the trans-Tasman border.

“As we now know, the advent of Omicron prompted a change of strategy from the government, resulting in a hard 10-day mandatory isolation period being imposed on all incoming travellers,” White said.

“NZC and CA 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.

“But we received advice this morning that they could not provide certainty over this, either.”

NZC and CA are set to begin discussions on when the tour can be rescheduled.

“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.” CA CEO Nick Hockley said.

“We thank NZC, who made every effort to make the series happen, however because they were unable to get certainty over return quarantine arrangements, it is simply just not possible at this time.

Australia is still scheduled to head to New Zealand for three T20Is from March 17 to 20 while Australia’s Test team is playing a series in Pakistan.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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