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Australia tour of South Africa officially postponed, New Zealand qualifies for WTC final

Australia tour of South Africa has officially been postponed due to coronavirus pandemic. Cricket Australia informed on Tuesday that the proposed three-match tour will no longer be played in February, which means Australia’s matches are done for the current World Test Championship cycle. 

CA said, “Cricket Australia has today informed Cricket South Africa that it believes it has no choice but to postpone the forthcoming Qantas Tour of South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Cricket Australia’s Interim CEO Nick Hockley in the statement said, “Following extensive due diligence with medical experts, it has become clear that traveling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community.”

Hocley expressed his disappointment at the postponement of this series given the assurance they had given to Cricket South Africa (CSA) to tour the country even at an extra cost. 

“We acknowledge the significant amount of work by CSA in planning for the tour, during which we made it clear that CA was prepared to take on additional cost and effort to make the series happen.

“This decision has not been made lightly and we are extremely disappointed, especially given the importance of continuing international cricket at this time, our valued relationship with CSA, and our aspirations to compete in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship,” he added.

Australia were supposed to play three Test matches in South Africa during the time of February-March, which would have been their final series as part of the WTC cycle, which is supposed to end this May, with the final taking place between the top two teams on the points table. 

This is not the first time that a series slated to take place in South Africa has been postponed due to safety reasons of COVID-19. After playing the three T20I-match series, England were supposed to play 3 ODIs as well but continous positive cases in the South African camp meant the series had to be called off.

The postponement has resulted in New Zealand qualifying for the WTC showdown in June at the Lord’s.

Australia stars not travelling to NZ

Cricket Australia has also confirmed that since the South Africa tour has now been postponed, the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc will not be travelling to New Zealand with the T20I squad and this was made clear very early, irrespective of South African tour’s occurrence.

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