Afghanistan ODI series shelved, Australians free to finish IPL
Australia's scheduled one-day international series against Afghanistan in India has been postponed, the cricket boards of the competing countries said on Sunday, leaving players free to fulfil their Indian Premier League (IPL) commitments.
The three one-dayers were supposed to take place ahead of the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup but that tournament has now been moved to the United Arab Emirates and Oman because of the prevalence of Covid-19 in India.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) "and Cricket Australia 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 Twenty20 World Cup to the United Arab Emirates and Oman," the boards said in a statement.
"With the World Cup relocated from India to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, the ACB will continue to explore the possibility of hosting a proposed T20 tri-series involving Australia and the West Indies."
The IPL was suspended indefinitely in May after several players and backroom staff tested positive for Covid-19.
The remaining matches will now be played in the United Arab Emirates from September 19 to October 15.
Despite the proximity of the tournament to the T20 World Cup, Cricket Australia said it would grant permission for their players to take part and fulfil their lucrative contracts.
"No Objection Certificates will be granted to Australian players wishing to take part in the remaining upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) matches to be played in the UAE," Cricket Australia said.
While Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins has already said he will miss the conclusion of the IPL due to the impending birth of his first child, other top players such as David Warner and Steve Smith are now free to participate.
The Twenty20 World Cup will take place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14.