New Zealand cancels T20 series against Australia

WELLINGTON (AFP): New Zealand Cricket on Wednesday scrapped next month’s T20 series against Australia, saying the move was “inevitable” due to strict COVID-19 border controls.

NZC chief David White said a government decision to push back plans to open the border forced the cancellation of the three-match series, slated to take place in Napier on March 17, 18 and 20.

“At the time we scheduled the visit there was a lot of hope that the trans-Tasman border would be open for those who met the right criteria,” White said.

“However, the advent of Omicron has, unfortunately, changed everything at the border and has made it impossible for us to continue with the series.”

New Zealand has some of the world’s toughest border controls, including a 10-day hotel quarantine for all international arrivals.

It plans to progressively move to self isolation for vaccinated arrivals between late February and October, but the change will not be implemented in time to allow Australia’s players to skip hotel quarantine.