Sri Lanka v Australia - 5th ODI
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - JUNE 24: Cameron Green of Australia is congratulated by Jeffrey Vandersay of Sri Lanka after winning the 5th match in the ODI series between Sri Lanka and Australia at R. Premadasa Stadium on June 24, 2022 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)
Sri Lanka v Australia - 5th ODI

Australia's home summer of international cricket will now end in early January, with confirmation that a slated three-match ODI series against South Africa has been cancelled.

The Australians, who will play South Africa in a home Boxing Day and New Year's Test as the second and third match of a three-Test series, following a two-Test series against the West Indies to get the red ball summer underway, were due to play South Africa in three ODI matches the week after the Tests finished.

However, Cricket South Africa asked Cricket Australia to find alternative dates for the matches, with the three-match ODI series set to clash with a new T20 competition held by South African Cricket.

Cricket Australia confirmed that they couldn't find any new dates for the series, with a backlog of series and tournaments jamming the summer up. Australia are also due to play India in a four-Test series during February and March.

It's understood that, with ICC approval, South Africa will give up the world championship points available to the series, meaning their chances of automatically qualifying for the next ODI World Cup in 2023 are looking slimmer and slimmer, with the Proteas already ranked 11th, and only eight teams automatically going through.

With one of those matches to be played in Hobart, it now means a women's ODI against Pakistan will be moved to Blundstone Arena, while the T20 against the West Indies has been moved from the Gold Coast to Brisbane, and the first T20 match against England has been shifted from the Gabba to Perth.

While the South African series has been cancelled, there is an unintended benefit for Cricket Australia, with top line multi-format stars now to be available for the final weeks of the Big Bash League, with the final Test against South Africa due to finish on January 8.