Australia's ODI series against Zimbabwe scheduled for August has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Zimbabwe were due to play three ODIs in Australia later this year, but it has been postponed.

In a statement, Cricket Australia (CA) said it and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) had mutually agreed to the decision due to the short length of the series, significant biosecurity measures which would need to be in place and safety concerns.

"While we are disappointed to postpone the series, CA and ZC agree that in the best interest of players, match officials, volunteers as well as our fans, that this is the most practical and sensible decision," interim CA chief executive Nick Hockley said.

"We are committed to working with Zimbabwe Cricket on alternative dates to reschedule."

Acting ZC managing director Givemore Makoni said he was keen to see the series go ahead at another time.

"We were excited about facing Australia but, given the circumstances, deferring the tour was the only option," he said.

"We are, however, looking forward to the rescheduling of the series as soon as practically possible."

There have been more than 10.4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 507,000.

India have pulled out of tours to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe because of fears over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released a statement on Friday confirming the team's withdrawal.

It comes after Sri Lanka Cricket had already announced the cancellation of the tour, which was set to include three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches.

India were scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka on June 24 and then to Zimbabwe for a three-match ODI series starting in August.

A BCCI statement added: "The BCCI is determined to take steps towards the resumption of international and domestic cricket, but it will not rush into any decision that will jeopardise the efforts put in by the central and state governments and several other respective agencies in containing the spread of the coronavirus.
 
"The office-bearers have been taking note of advisories issued by the government of India and the board is committed to fully comply with the restrictions imposed and guidelines issued. The BCCI will continue to study and evaluate the changing situation."

The ICC has delayed a decision over the respective fates of the men's T20 World Cup and women's Cricket World Cup in order to continue exploring contingency plans over the next month.

Australia is due to host the men's T20 competition between October 18 and November 15 but the status of the tournament remains unclear due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while the women's 50-over event is slated to take place in New Zealand from February 6 to March 7 next year.

Last month, the ICC denied reports a decision had been taken to move the T20 World Cup back to next year, although Cricket Australia said it was braced for the postponement.

Following an ICC Board meeting on Wednesday, the governing body said it will "continue to assess and evaluate the rapidly changing public health situation caused by COVID-19 working with key stakeholders including governments to explore how the events can be staged to protect the health and safety of everyone involved."

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: "The situation surrounding the global pandemic is evolving rapidly and we want to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to make the right decision for the whole sport. 

"The health and well-being of everyone involved is our priority and other considerations fall out from that.

"We will only get one chance to make this decision and it needs to be the right one and as such we will continue to consult with our Members, broadcasters, partners, governments and players and to ensure that we make a well informed decision."

Andy Flower was, for a long time, Zimbabwe's only batsman of true Test quality in all conditions.

He also holds a peculiar record as an ODI wicket-keeper-batsman of world-class quality. Andy Flower is also the only player to score an ODI hundred on debut in a World Cup match.

He also has the record for the most matches (149) between his first and second centuries with the latter coming in his 150th ODI.

He, along with Heath Streak set the record for the highest 7th wicket partnership for Zimbabwe in ODIs.

For a period of about two years from the start of 2000, he was so phenomenally consistent that he has no rival as the best player in Zimbabwe's history. He was expected to excel in both departments: wicket-keeping and batting and was handed the additional responsibility of leading both the ODI and Test teams.

In the latter part of his career, Flower was compared with Adam Gilchrist, who many pundits acknowledged was the best wicketkeeper-batsman the world had ever seen.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Andrew Flower

Born: April 28, 1968, Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa

Major teams: Zimbabwe, Essex, Marylebone Cricket Club, Mashonaland, South Australia

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

Height: 5 ft 10 in

 

ODI Career: Zimbabwe (1992 – 2003)

Mat       Inns      NO        Runs      HS        Ave       BF         SR         100s       50s          Ct        St

213        208       16         6786      145       35.34     9097      74.59          4         55           141       32

 

Career Highlights

  • 3rd batsman to score a century on ODI debut
  • Has scored 6,786 runs in ODIs at an average of 35.34
  • 4 hundreds and 55 half-centuries in ODIs

Cricket Australia (CA) is braced for a huge financial hit due to the possible postponement of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, as well as playing home games without spectators. 

Speaking to the media on Friday, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts predicted the governing body stands to miss out on 80million Australian dollars due to the potential changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Admitting there is a “very high risk” of the global T20 tournament being pushed back from the original plan of October and November this year, Roberts outlined the expected missed income due to such a delay. 

However, the bigger blow is a home summer without any fans present at international fixtures, while there is also the extra cost of the biosecurity measures required to host opposing teams. 

"The likelihood of significant crowds is very slim - ordinarily that would deliver well over $50m revenue to CA," Roberts told reporters. 

"The T20 World Cup is a big question and that's a factor of perhaps $20m. We have been hopeful all along that it could be staged in October-November, but you would have to say there's a very high risk about the prospect of that happening. 

"And it's likely that our biosecurity measures that we need to put in place to deliver the season will cost in the order of $10m." 

Australia are due to host Zimbabwe in one-day internationals in August, then West Indies arrive for T20 games in October. As for Tests, Afghanistan are due to play one in Perth in November, followed by a four-match series against India, who complete their tour with three ODIs in January. 

New Zealand are the final visitors of a packed schedule, making the short trip for three one-dayers and a one-off T20 early next year. 

On the recently released schedule, Roberts remained cautiously optimistic, adding: “We're very optimistic that we will be able to stage the India men's tour and the other inbound tours for the season. 

"But we're realistic enough to know they will look very different to a normal summer. We have been forced to effectively plan for the worst and hope for the best." 

Cricket Australia (CA) has released a full international schedule for 2020-21, with the four-Test series against India to begin at the Gabba on December 3.

CA revealed the fixtures for Australia's men's and women's teams on Thursday and the schedule is packed despite fears that matches may have to be cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The men's team, who have not played since March when a one-day international series against New Zealand was cancelled after just one game, are due to first face Zimbabwe in three ODIs, beginning on August 9 at a venue yet to be determined.

After playing three T20s against West Indies and then India, Australia will host Afghanistan in a one-off Test in Perth that starts on November 21 before taking on Virat Kohli's team again in four Tests and three ODIs.

Their home season will conclude with a four-match ODI series against New Zealand in January and February.

The Australia women's team are set to return to action in September with a T20 series against New Zealand, who they will then meet in three ODIs prior to another series in that format against India in January.

The headline series for the men's team is undoubtedly the four-Test dual with Kohli's India, which will take place in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

In announcing the fixtures, CA CEO Kevin Roberts conceded the final schedule may have to be tweaked depending on the spread of the coronavirus over the coming weeks and months.

"While acknowledging the difficulty in navigating a global pandemic, we are nonetheless encouraged by the progress Australia is making in combatting the coronavirus and the positive impact that is having on our ability to host an exciting summer of cricket in 2020-21," Roberts said.

"We know that circumstances or events beyond our control could mean that the final schedule potentially may look different to the one released today, but we'll be doing everything we can to get as much international cricket in as possible this summer. We will communicate any changes to the schedule if or when they are required. 

"We are engaged in ongoing discussions with federal and state governments, our venues and the touring nations to continually understand and monitor the situation in front of us, which is evolving every day. We'll continue to act in accordance with public health advice and government protocols to ensure the safety of the public, players and support staff."

India won the most recent Test series in Australia in 2018-19, the first time they had emerged victorious in that format Down Under.

The elder of two Test-playing brothers, Andy Flower was for a long time Zimbabwe's only batsman of true Test quality in all conditions. For a period of about two years from the start of 2000, he was so phenomenally consistent that he has no rival as the best player in Zimbabwe's history.

In the 55 Tests in which he kept wicket, Flower had 160 dismissals: 151 catches and nine stumpings. He did not keep wicket for eight Test matches. He had a gift of sighting the ball early, which made his anticipation better as a stumper.

He had two stints as Zimbabwe captain, leading them to their first Test victory against Pakistan in 1994-95, and then becoming the first Zimbabwean to lead a Test tour of England, in 2000. An assured player of fast bowling since his early days as an opener, Flower matured into one of the best players of spin in the world, and on the Indian tour early in 2001, he made 540 runs for twice out.

Flower was an integral member of the squad when Zimbabwe achieved Test status in 1992. He was expected to excel in both departments: wicket-keeping and batting and was handed the additional responsibility of leading the side in both the formats.

In the latter part of his career, Flower was compared with Adam Gilchrist, who many pundits acknowledged was the best wicket-keeper batsman the world had ever seen.

 

Career Statistics

Full name Andrew Flower

Born April 28, 1968, Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa

Current age 52 years 10 days

Batting style Left-hand bat

Fielding position Wicketkeeper

 

Height 5 ft 10 in

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        SR           100        50           Ct           St

63           112        19           4794      232*      51.54     45.07     12           27           151        9

 

Andy Flower

Team:   Zimbabwe (1992-2002)

 

-              2nd highest batting average as a wicketkeeper (53.70)

-              3rd most centuries scored as wicket-keeper captain in Tests (3)

-              Highest score by a wicketkeeper in Tests (232*)

-              Completed 151 dismissals in 63 Tests as wicketkeeper

 

Arsenal may have gone 16 years without an English league title, but the last time they landed the trophy it was an unforgettable triumph for Arsene Wenger's 'Invincibles'.

They secured the silverware for the competition then known as the Premiership on this day in 2004, with a 2-2 draw against bitter north London rivals Tottenham.

On the same day, Sri Lanka humiliated Zimbabwe in an ODI cricket clash in Harare, bowling out the home team for 35 - the lowest innings total for a one-day international.

In 2012, Bayern Munich denied Real Madrid a place in the Champions League final when they beat Los Blancos, whose star names faltered in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

And 12 months ago, Kyler Murray chose American football ahead of baseball when he was drafted first by the Arizona Cardinals.

Here we look back on some of the most memorable moments from the world of sport to take place on April 25.

2004 - Wenger wonders toast title at White Hart Lane

Alan Shearer's winner for Newcastle United against high-flying Chelsea earlier in the day meant Arsenal had the chance to scoop the Premier League title at Tottenham's White Hart Lane home.

Unbeaten in the league all season, Wenger's side were not in the mood to let such an opportunity pass them by and swept into a 2-0 lead by half-time thanks to goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires.

Jamie Redknapp pulled one back and Robbie Keane fired a late penalty equaliser for lowly Spurs, but Arsenal had needed just one point, so the 2-2 draw was enough to spark celebrations among the visitors.

2004 - Harare horror show

Zimbabwe lost the ODI series 5-0 and suffered back-to-back huge innings defeats in a 2-0 Test trouncing by Sri Lanka - and this surrender in the third ODI was perhaps the worst of that grisly set of results.

Dion Ebrahim top-scored for Zimbabwe with seven runs as the hosts were skittled for 35 in 18 overs, Chaminda Vaas taking 4-11 with the ball for merciless Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka missed out on a 10-wicket victory when Russel Arnold fell cheaply, but they sauntered to a nine-wicket success to ease 3-0 up in the series.

There were extenuating circumstances, with Zimbabwe hugely weakened due to their established players going on strike in a protest over political interference.

2012 - Penalty woe for Ronaldo and Ramos

Armed with a 2-1 semi-final lead from their home leg, Bayern nevertheless appeared to be seeing the Champions League final slip out of sight when Cristiano Ronaldo fired Madrid 2-0 up inside 15 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu, only for ex-Real winger Arjen Robben to revive the Germans' hopes with a penalty.

The tie was locked at 3-3 on aggregate after half an hour of a breathless second-leg battle and it remained that way after 120 minutes, meaning penalties would decide who joined Chelsea in the final.

The usually reliable Ronaldo and Kaka saw their kicks saved by Manuel Neuer, and Sergio Ramos fired over the bar, allowing Bastian Schweinsteiger to convert the winning penalty.

Jose Mourinho's Madrid still won LaLiga that season, while Bayern finished empty-handed after losing the Champions League final to Chelsea - on penalties - and seeing Borussia Dortmund land a domestic double.

2019 - Cardinals take Murray with first pick

Kyler Murray was the ninth overall pick in the MLB Draft in June 2018, having had his choice of sports. But his continuing success with the Oklahoma Sooners in college football meant Murray was coveted by NFL teams too, and he soon gave up the approaching prospect of a baseball career.

A quarterback, he was drafted first overall by the Cardinals and became a resounding hit in his first NFL season, winning the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

He bettered all other first-year players with 349 completions - the third-most by a rookie in NFL history - and 3,722 passing yards.

Bangladesh eased to a 2-0 series win over Zimbabwe as Liton Das' unbeaten 60 paved the way for a routine nine-wicket triumph in Wednesday's Twenty20 in Dhaka.

Brendan Taylor's haul of 59 not out from 48 deliveries at least helped Zimbabwe post a total of 119-7 from their 20 overs.

Das and fellow opener Mohammad Naim swiftly set to work dismantling that total, moving Bangladesh onto 77 before the latter picked out deep midwicket off Chris Mpofu.

But Das – man of the match and player of the series – was in no mood to hand Zimbabwe any more hope and, after two boundaries in succession, brought up his fifty with a single flicked towards fine leg.

Soumya Sarkar wasted little time in settling in, sending Wesley Madhevere for six before smashing a maximum off Mpofu to tie Bangladesh level, and a single two balls later secured a sixth straight victory for Bangladesh across all formats.

"I think the we way played, the way we have been consistent, that has been very pleasing," Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah said at the post-match presentation.

"Especially the way Liton showed consistency and hunger, really happy for him too. The hunger was there. Last couple of series we were not up to the mark. We are trying to build up the confidence for the World Cup."

Soumya Sarkar hit an unbeaten 62 as Bangladesh eased to a 48-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 International.

Sarkar's 32-ball innings, which included four fours and five sixes, helped propel Bangladesh to 200-3 in Dhaka. All five batsmen reached double figures, Liton Das also scoring a half-century with his 39-ball 59.

Zimbabwe wilted in response as they were bowled out for 152 with an over to spare. Mustafizur Rahman and Aminul Islam took three wickets apiece, with debutants Tinashe Kamunhukamwe (28) and Carl Mumba (25) the pick of the batsmen for the tourists.

The series comes to a close on Wednesday when the second and final match takes place at the same venue.

Mashrafe Mortaza earned glowing praise from Bangladesh team-mates after captaining his country for the final time in ODIs.

Bangladesh thrashed Zimbabwe by 123 runs on the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method in Sylhet, sealing a 3-0 series triumph and making it 50 ODI wins from 88 matches as skipper for Mortaza.

The 36-year-old was then showered with effusive tributes from the likes of Liton Das, who scored a stunning 176 to set a new national record in the format.

"He's got a very special place in my heart," Das said of Mortaza. "I made my debut under him.

"He's always supported me. Having a captain like that is always rare.

"We will miss him, because when he leads, there's no distinction between seniors and juniors. It's a lot of fun."

Mortaza gave credit to his players, saying: "This is a great honour. My boys have been fantastic. They have given everything for the team. I'd like to say my thanks to all the boys."

Adding to the kind words, Mahmudullah cited Mortaza's overall impact on the game in Bangladesh.

"He's been a brother and a friend, and he's done so much for Bangladesh cricket," he said. "We have operated in a very nice way. When he took over, we were floundering a little bit."

They were sentiments echoed by Tamim Iqbal, who shared a 292-run opening stand with Das on Friday.

"When he took over in 2014, we were nowhere," said Tamim, after making an unbeaten 128. "From 2014 to 2019, he took us to a stage where we were taken seriously all over the world.

"There were people who wanted me dropped, but he backed me all the way."

Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal dominated Zimbabwe's bowlers to complete a 3-0 ODI clean sweep for Bangladesh and give Mashrafe Mortaza a fitting send-off as captain.

In a match shortened by rain to 43 overs per side in Sylhet, the hosts posted 322-3 in Mortaza's final game as skipper, with Das and Iqbal sharing a 292-run opening stand – the third highest in ODI history.

Zimbabwe were set a revised target of 342 and came up well short, Mortaza earning his 50th win in the format as the side's leader, the 36-year-old chipping in with 1-47 in a 123-run DLS triumph. 

The home side were making fine headway when the weather closed in, the Tigers going off for more than two and a half hours with 182 runs on the board and the first pairing still going strong.

After resuming, Carl Mumba did manage to break the bond, taking three late wickets, although Tamim – who made 158 in the second match – remained unbeaten on 128.

Das smashed 16 fours and eight sixes in his stunning career-best 176, which came from 143 deliveries and ensured he eclipsed Tamim's tally from the previous outing to claim a national record in the format.

Zimbabwe's response was not nearly as spectacular, with Tinashe Kamunhukamwe falling in the first over to Mortaza and setting the tone for an innings of fruitless toil from the tourists. 

Sikandar Raza did post a defiant 61, with Regis Chakabva (34) and Wesley Madhevere (42) also gaining some credit, but their contributions came in another losing effort as Mohammad Saifuddin (4-41) did most of the damage.

The result completed a miserable series for Zimbabwe, who lost the opener by a record 169 runs, before succumbing to a defeat by just four runs in the second meeting. 

Centurion Tamim Iqbal set records tumbling as Bangladesh survived a tense chase to beat Zimbabwe by four runs in a thriller and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.

Opening batsman Tamim scored 158 off 136 balls to better his own benchmark for the highest ODI Bangladesh score, while he became the first player from his country to reach 7,000 runs in 50-over cricket.

His knock anchored Bangladesh's innings and big stands with Mushfiqur Rahim (55) and Mahmudullah (41) contributed to an imposing score of 322-8.

Zimbabwe were in trouble at 225-7 in the 42nd over when a big middle-order partnership between Wesley Madhevere and Sikandar Raza came to an end.

A brilliant eighth-wicket stand of 80 from Tinotenda Mutombodzi (34) and Donald Tiripano (55 not out) provided hope, but the visitors just fell short in Sylhet.

Tamim, whose knock included 20 fours and three sixes, put on 87 with Mushfiqur and 106 with skipper Mahmudullah before eventually driving Carl Mumba to Mutombodzi at long off.

Tinashe Kamunhukamwe scored a half century in reply before being bowled by Taijul Islam, who also ended the dangerous 80-run partnership between Madhevere (52) and Raza (66).

When the latter fell to Mashrafe Mortaza it appeared the game was up but Mutombodzi and Tiripano combined down the order to set up a thrilling finale.

However, Mutombodzi played a straight one to long on in the final over and Zimbabwe were unable to find the runs they needed to force a winner-takes-all encounter.

Bangladesh claimed a record ODI victory by 169 runs on Sunday, Liton Das inspiring a thrashing of Zimbabwe in Sylhet.

Das' unbeaten 126 was the pinnacle of a ruthless batting performance from the hosts, whose top seven all scored 19 or above.

Opening with Tamim Iqbal (24), Das smashed 13 fours and two sixes off 105 balls as he recorded his second career ODI century before retiring from his innings, apparently having succumbed to the heat and humidity.

A half-century from Mohammad Mithun put paid to any hopes of a Bangladesh collapse, though, as Zimbabwe were set a target of 322.

Mohammad Saifuddin (2-33) found the stumps of Tinashe Kamunhukamwe with the fourth ball of the second over, and when Zimbabwe stumbled to 79-5, victory appeared unlikely.

Debutant Wesley Madhevere (35) made the chase somewhat respectable, but Tinotenda Mutombodzi edged Mashrafe Mortaza (2-35) to Saifuddin to hand Bangladesh victory by 169 runs, eclipsing their previous biggest winning margin in the format of 163, set against Sri Lanka in January 2018.

Mortaza also became only the fifth bowler to take 100 ODI wickets as a captain, a feat previously achieved by Wasim Akram, Shaun Pollock, Imran Khan and Jason Holder.

Nayeem Hasan claimed career-best figures as Bangladesh hammered Zimbabwe by an innings and 106 runs to end their Test drought in Dhaka on day four.

The tourists resumed on the penultimate day staring down the barrel of a crushing defeat in the one-off Test and they were put out of their misery in the afternoon session.

Hasan (5-82) claimed his second five-wicket haul in only his fifth Test and recorded outstanding match figures of 9-152 as Zimbabwe were dismissed for only 189 in their second innings on Tuesday.

Taijul Islam also had Craig Ervine's side in a spin, taking 4-78 in what was the Tigers' first victory in the longest format for 450 days, when they also beat Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe were on the ropes when they resumed on 9-2 and lost Kevin Kasuza in the sixth over of the day, the opening edging Islam to Mohammad Mithun at second slip.

Brendan Taylor soon followed and captain Craig Ervine, a centurion in the first innings, was superbly run out for 43 by his opposite number Mominul Haque before lunch.

Sikandar Raza (37) was going along nicely when he slapped a long hop from Islam to Mushfiqur Rahim, who made a magnificent unbeaten double-century in Bangladesh's 560-6 declared, and Regis Chakabva was the next to go.

The brilliant Hasan had another five-wicket haul after accounting for Ainsley Ndlovu and Timycen Maruma in quick succession and Islam ended a one-sided match by trapping Charlton Tshuma lbw.

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