The three-match One Day International (ODI) series between Australia and Zimbabwe, originally scheduled to be played Down Under, has been postponed indefinitely due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, announced Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday.

“The boards of both cricket bodies have come to the mutual conclusion due to a combination of factors including: the short length of the series, the significant bio-security measures that would need to be implemented prior to August, and concern for the health and safety of players, match officials, and volunteers,” the CA said in its official statement.

“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 Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley, said.

“We are committed to working with Zimbabwe Cricket on alternative dates to reschedule,” he added.

It would have been Zimbabwe’s first bilateral series in Australia after their 2003-04 tour. The two nations had participated in a two-match Test series before playing a ODI tri-series with India as the third team.

Acting Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director, Givemore Makoni, said: “We were excited about facing Australia but, given the circumstances, deferring the tour was the only option. We are, however, looking forward to the rescheduling of the series as soon as practically possible.”

“There’s probably not enough expletives in the English language at the moment for the way I’m feeling. It’s just embarrassing for everyone involved in the touring party, and I hope they’re hurting. They should be,” Australia coach Darren Lehman said.

The three ODIs were due to take place on August 9, 12 and 15. Meanwhile, it was the second high-profile assignments that the Zimbabwe cricket team have lost due to the coronavirus situation. Team India were all set to travel to the African nation for a three-match ODI series.