New Zealand postpones Australia tour over border concerns

·2-min read

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s short white ball cricket tour to Australia which was to begin later this month has been postponed because of uncertainty over the team’s return home.

The Black Caps were to leave within days to play Australia in three one-day internationals from Jan. 30 and in a one-off Twenty20 match on Feb. 8.

When the tour was scheduled, New Zealand Cricket anticipated the introduction of less restricted travel between Austalia and New Zealand would mean the team wouldn’t have to isolate on their return. But the spread of the omicron variant in Australia and its threat to New Zealand has caused the government to defer a move to quarantine-free travel for New Zealanders returning home.

New Zealand Cricket hadn't booked places for the team in managed isolation and hasn’t since been able to secure any. The government had planned to make new places available this week but has also deferred the release of new isolation vacancies.

NZC worked with Cricket Australia on a number of alternatives, including extending the tour in the hope isolation places might be available later. It decided Wednesday the tour could not proceed with so much still uncertain.

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,” NZC chief executive David White said. “We just ran out of time unfortunately, we couldn’t receive the certainty from the Government so we had no choice.”

Discussions over re-scheduling the tour are continuing.

The New Zealand team would not have contained any test players who were to remain in New Zealand to prepare for an upcoming test series against South Africa.

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