New Zealand’s white-ball tour of Australia is off after the Black Caps failed to secure quarantine rooms when they return home.
In a major embarrassment for New Zealand Cricket (NZC), the four-match tour of Australia, due to start next week, has been postponed indefinitely.
Australia’s T20 internationals against Sri Lanka remain on the calendar, with the schedule to be confirmed.
The Black Caps were due to play three one-day internationals, beginning on January 30 in Perth, and a Twenty20 international in Canberra on February 8.
The series had been billed as a clash of November’s T20 World Cup finalists, and a send-off for retiring Kiwi runscoring great Ross Taylor.
But NZC failed to book places in quarantine — which remains compulsory for all arrivals in New Zealand — for its players, believing the border laws would have been scrapped in time for the tour.
“As we now know, the advent of Omicron prompted a change of heart from the Government, resulting in a hard 10-day mandatory isolation period being imposed on all incoming travellers,” NZC chief executive David White said.
As AAP reported earlier this week, Australia’s whistle-stop three-T20 tour of New Zealand in March is also in grave doubt due to the Ardern Government’s border rules.
Cricket Australia (CA) and NZC were exploring a lengthening of the Australian tour to maximise matches and minimise time spent in quarantine, but this has also fallen by the wayside.
“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,” White said.
“But we received advice this morning that they could not provide certainty over this either.”
Cricket Australia (CA) chief Nick Hockley said he was “extremely disappointed” at the outcome.
“We thank NZC, who made every effort to make the series happen,” he said.
“We know fans will be disappointed and thank them for their understanding given the unique circumstances that the global pandemic presents for everyone.”
CA and NZC say they are discussing the possibility of rescheduling the matches.