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Australia-New Zealand series postponed

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The postponement of the three one-day internationals means New Zealand batter Ross Taylor now has just three games against the Netherlands, starting 30 March, before his planned retirement

Australia and New Zealand’s white-ball series, scheduled to start on 30 January, have been postponed because of quarantine concerns for the Black Caps.

The sides were due to play three one-day internationals and a one-off T20.

But in order to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, plans to relax New Zealand’s 10-day quarantine by the time the series finished on February 8 have been delayed.

New Zealand begin a home Test series with South Africa on February 17.

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Australia are scheduled to travel to New Zealand for three T20s from 17-20 March and the countries explored the option of combining the two series in Australia instead in order to avoid quarantine.

However the New Zealand government was “unable to provide certainty” that the restrictions currently in place would be lifted by then.

“We are extremely disappointed we won’t be able to play the scheduled matches as planned,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said.

“We thank New Zealand Cricket, who made every effort to make the series happen, however, because they were unable to get certainty over return quarantine arrangements, it is simply just not possible at this time.”

It is the third successive Australian summer that white-ball series against New Zealand have been cancelled and means Australia face playing no one-day internationals in a home summer for the first time in 44 years.

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They are due to host Sri Lanka in five Twenty20 internationals from 11 February, with Hockley saying “the schedule will be confirmed as soon as possible”.

The Women’s Ashes series between Australia and England, which is due to start on Thursday morning, was brought forward by a week because both sides will have to quarantine in New Zealand immediately afterwards so they are able to play in the 50-over World Cup that starts on 4 March.

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