Australia vs New Zealand ODIs and subsequent T20Is suspended due to Coronavirus pandemic
No cricket is set to be played over the next month or so now.
Updated - Mar 14, 2020 10:43 am
The ongoing ODI series between Australia and New Zealand has been finally suspended. This marks an end of the Australian summer in an unfortunate way. Even the subsequent three-match T20I series between the two teams which was to be played later this month in New Zealand has been suspended in the wake of Coronavirus threat. Both Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) are hopeful of scheduling the series to a later date.
The first ODI was played at the SCG on Friday behind closed doors which Australia won comfortably defending 258. It was a comprehensive victory for the home team. However, soon after the game, the Kiwi pacer Lockie Ferguson complained of a sore throat and was isolated in a team hotel. He has also been tested for Coronavirus with the results of the same awaited.
The decision to suspend both the series was taken after the New Zealand Government tightened its border restrictions. Moreover, the Kane Williamson-led side will be travelling back home on Saturday evening itself with New Zealand set to enforce a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for the people entering the country from midnight tomorrow according to the report in cricket.com.au.
Impact of Coronavirus on cricket
Coronavirus pandemic has affected all the cricketing action in the next month or so. The Road Safety World Series was the first to be called off after which the England-Sri Lanka series, IPL (suspended until April 15), India-South Africa series and Australia Women’s tour of South Africa followed suit.
Even the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which was receiving an immense response from the home crowd this season had to be condensed. A number of foreign players have already left with the remaining matches set to be played behind closed doors. The PCB, meanwhile, has also decided to scrap the playoffs concept for now and have converted it to the semi-finals and finals.
The final of the tournament which was set to be played on March 22 has been brought back to March 18. A huge void has been created now in the cricketing calendar for the next month or so with no matches to be played and it remains to be seen when normalcy returns to the field.