Australia have postponed their upcoming three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in August due to the threat posed by coroanvirus pandemic.

The matches were to be played on August 9, 12 and 15 but will be rescheduled after Cricket Australia expressed its “concern for the health and safety of players, match officials, and volunteers.”

The reasons behind the cancellation were multi-fold including health concerns, short length of the series and significant bi-security measures needed for the tour to go ahead.

“While we are disappointed to postpone the series, CA and Zimbabwe Cricket 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,” CA’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley said in a statement.

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

Zimbabwe Cricket’s acting managing director Givemore Makoni said deferring the tour was the only possible option due to the pandemic.

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

The postponement means Australia could make its international return in England where they are expected to be part of a limited-overs series for which talks are going on between the cricket boards of the two nations.