Lack of broadcast deal leaves Australia men's tour off screen after 27 years

Ashton Agar bowled very nicely on his return to the side AFP

For the first time since 1994 a tour by the Australia men's team will not broadcast into Australia after a last-minute deal failed to materialise for the rights to the T20I series in Bangladesh.

It had been hoped that in the absence of a traditional television deal the series would be streamed on YouTube but there was no live coverage into Australia.

Australia's injured captain Aaron Finch, who is currently in hotel quarantine in Melbourne having left the tour with a knee injury, was among those caught out by the lack of coverage during the first T20I.

While the occasional one-off limited-overs match has not been seen in Australia over the last few years, it is not since the 1994 tour of Pakistan that an entire series won't have been shown.

The majority of Australia's tours are broadcast by Fox Sports who secured the recent series against West Indies just a couple of days before it started but a similar outcome has not happened for Bangladesh.

Confirmation that the tour would take place only came late last month amid extensive negotiations over the strict biosecure plans. This is Australia's first visit to Bangladesh since 2017 and the first time the two sides have met in a bilateral T20I series with the other four one-off matches being in World Cups.

The ongoing Olympics that is taking most of the attention, the 1am finish time of the matches in Bangladesh and the fact Australia are missing a host of first-choice players may also have been factors in the attractiveness of the series. However, it also highlights what is likely to become an increasingly challenging broadcast market, particularly for perceived lower-key tours.

The series will be the last chance for both sides to work on plans and assess players ahead of the T20 World Cup in October. It was confirmed on Monday that Bangladesh's proposed series against England of three T20Is and three ODIs in late September had been postponed until March 2023.