SYDNEY (Reuters) – World cricket champion Australia’s women’s team beat New Zealand on Saturday in the first international cricket match played in the two countries since March.
Australia won their first international Twenty20 in nearly seven months with 17 runs at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.
Ashleigh Gardner held off Australia’s 138-6 innings with 61 of a superb 41 balls on a two-step pitch that proved difficult to score before Megan Schutt took 4-23 to limit New Zealand to 121-7.
The match was an important moment for cricket in Australasia amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two teams have been isolated for at least the past two weeks in the biosecure hub, with all other international teams likely to follow during the southern hemisphere summer.
New Zealand Cricket has said they spoke extensively with CA about their biosafety measures, with their own plans for their international program being approved by the New Zealand government on Friday.
CA, however, have yet to confirm their remaining matches for their international program, which includes a men’s four test series against India. They postponed a one-time test with Afghanistan and the men’s one-day draw with New Zealand on Friday.
The delay in finalizing the schedule has sparked a heated public dispute with Channel Seven.
The broadcaster threatened to tear up his 2018 contract, complaining that the coronavirus travel restrictions would undermine the competitiveness of games, especially in the Twenty20 Big Bash League.
Foxtel’s seven and pay-TV company agreed a A $ 1.2 billion ($ 880 million) six-year rights agreement with CA in 2018. Part seven of the agreement is valued at approximately A $ 450 million.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Edited by William Mallard
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian versatile Ellyse Perry is still in doubt for Saturday’s Twenty20 opener against New Zealand in Brisbane as she continues her recovery from hamstring surgery.
The 29-year-old, who did not take part in the warm-up match against ‘White Ferns’ at Allan Border Field, will have his fitness checked on Thursday evening.
Perry tore her hamstring during the Twenty20 Women’s World Cup in Australia earlier this year, the last time both teams played cricket before the coronavirus pandemic forced the sport to close.
The T20 world champions host New Zealand for three Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals in a row, with all matches at Allan Border Field.
Perry has expressed doubts he will be available for all six games given the short turnaround and said that while he can play as a specialist hitter he also prefers to be able to play to ensure the team stays even.
New Zealand vice-captain Amy Satterthwaite, however, is expected to return to the side on Saturday for the first time in 19 months after having her first child, a daughter named Grace, earlier this year.
The match will also be Twenty20’s 100th all-around international, a feat he said he never expected to achieve when he made his 2007 debut against Australia in Darwin.
“I think 50-over is my favorite format,” said the 33-year-old. “This is very special. I think it makes you look like you are reflecting on your career on what has happened before.
“It’s really special to have Grace here. To be able to come back and play and earn achievements would take great pride in walking across the line. “
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Edited by Peter Rutherford