South Africa’s ODI World Cup hopes hang by a thread as Australia series cancelled



South Africa have withdrawn from their ODI series in Australia scheduled for January 2023 and the hosts set to be awarded the ODI Super League points from the three matches.With South Africa effectively losing the series 3-0, it pushes them closer to missing direct qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India. They were already languishing at No. 11 in the table with just four wins from 13 matches. The top eight teams in the ODI Super League as of the cut-off date of May next year will qualify directly for the World Cup. The remaining five teams will compete with five Associate teams in a qualifying tournament for the final two spots.Last month CSA had made a request to CA to move the series, which was to take place after the three Tests, following the announcement of their new T20 league due to begin in January.However, in a crowded calendar no window has been found so the matches are cancelled.”Given these games will not be played before the qualification cut-off date in May, CSA has agreed that Australia will be awarded the competition points pending ICC approval,” a Cricket Australia statement said.One big knock-on effect of the series being scrubbed is that it means Australian players will be available for the BBL which will be a boost for that competition. The fixtures for the BBL are due to be released on Thursday.While Australia’s Test stars will still be absent for the first part of the tournament, those who would normally also play ODIs will now have greater availability and white-ball players, such as Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa, will not be pulled out of the BBL for a 10-day period.CA has also made adjustments to the international schedule elsewhere to compensate Hobart – whose only international game of the season was due to be during the visit of South Africa – and Perth.The second men’s T20I against West Indies on October 7 will now be played at the Gabba instead of at the Metricon Stadium, with the first T20I against England on October 9 moved to Perth instead of Brisbane.Hobart will now stage the second women’s T20I against Pakistan on January 26 which had originally been scheduled for Canberra.”It’s disappointing to have another men’s international game removed from the schedule in Tasmania, it highlights the lack of international content that the state receives,” Dominic Baker, the Cricket Tasmania CEO, said. “However, we are working closely with Cricket Australia on our International fixtures calendar to see what opportunities can be pursued for our Tasmanian cricket fans in order to make up for this loss.”We’re looking forward to having such a high calibre of female players joining us here in Hobart, giving our fans the opportunity to experience and enjoy some international cricket this summer.”Nick Hockley, the CA chief executive, said: “It is disappointing that Cricket South Africa will be unable to contest the ODI series in January. That said, we are delighted to be hosting South Africa for the three Test series which includes the Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests and with the comprehensive schedule of international cricket that will take place across Australia throughout the summer.”Amended fixturesMen’s T20I series vs West IndiesOctober 5: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast (N)October 7: The Gabba, Brisbane (N)Men’s T20I series vs EnglandOctober 9: Perth Stadium, Perth October 12: Manuka Oval, Canberra (N)October 14: Manuka Oval, Canberra (N)Women’s T20I series vs PakistanJanuary 24: North Sydney Oval, SydneyJanuary 26: Blundstone Arena, Hobart (N)January 29: Manuka Oval, CanberraAndrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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