Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Cricket Australia (CA) have agreed on postponing the forthcoming One-Day International (ODI) series between the two nations. The fixtures were originally planned to take place in India in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup 2021.
However, the ICC’s showpiece event has now been shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman due to COVID-19 conditions in India. Further, the schedule of the ODI series was also clashing with the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, which would also be played in UAE from September 19.
“The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Cricket Australia (CA) have agreed to postpone the tour given the complexities of travel, quarantine periods and finding a suitable location for the matches given the relocation of the T20 World Cup to the UAE,” the boards said in a statement as quoted by Times of India.
The ACB also mentioned that it would continue to explore the possibilities of hosting Australia and the West Indies in a T20I tri-series.
“With the World Cup relocated from India to the UAE, the ACB will continue to explore the possibility of hosting a proposed T20I tri-series involving Australia and West Indies,” said the Afghanistan board.
The confirmation of the postponement of the ODI series has now cleared the way for the IPL bound Australia and Afghanistan players to feature in the cash-rich league. In fact, CA has also issued No Objection Certificates (NBC) to leading players for their return to the IPL next month.
“If in case any player who was injured or unavailable during the India leg of IPL 2021 and is now fit or available then the franchise which had taken a replacement player … will need to elect (either) one of them,” IPL chief operating officer Hemang Amin said as quoted by ESPN.
Former Australia captain and currently the head coach of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals (DC) Ricky Ponting has stated that Aussie players should play IPL ahead of the World Cup in order to get comfortable with the conditions in the Gulf nation.
“No doubt it’s their best preparation to be in those exact conditions, playing in probably the strongest domestic T20 tournament in the world,” Ponting told SEN radio.
“All the best players in the world will be there … and I’m not just saying it because I want some of the Australian players there at the Delhi Capitals,” he added.