(Australian Associated Press)
Australia could be playing Tests in South Africa at the same time a white-ball squad tours New Zealand.
New Zealand Cricket on Tuesday announced its international schedule for this summer, confirming Justin Langer’s team will head across the Tasman in February.
But the five Twenty20s in New Zealand are on a collision course with Australia’s planned three-Test series against the Proteas.
It will be the first time an Australian Test team tours South Africa since the infamous ball-tampering series in 2018.
Doubt surrounds whether the series will go ahead, with Cricket South Africa yet to release their summer schedule as it deals with turmoil at board level and the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The international future tours program has Australia in South Africa between February and March, and then going to New Zealand for three T20s in late-March.
But coronavirus barriers forced the cancellation of a three-match T20 Trans-Tasman series in New Zealand in March, meaning the Black Caps are determined to make up for that lost revenue.
Australia’s first T20 will be in Christchurch on February 22, before matches in Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland and Tauranga.
While unusual, two Australian teams have been separated in different countries at the same time before.
In 2018, Australia won a T20 tri-series while the Test squad was in South Africa preparing for the ill-fated Sandpaper-gate tour.
Langer’s team will be determined to get in as many T20s as possible with the 2021 World Cup taking place in India after this year’s edition in Australia was postponed until 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia are the No.1-ranked T20 team in the world after dominating the format during the last two years.
The Black Caps’ last completed T20 series saw them whitewashed 5-0 by India in New Zealand.