With no fans to cheer, David Warner notches up his 21st half-century at the SCG against New Zealand

The majority of the tournaments are being either postponed, re-scheduled or played inside closed doors due to outbreak of Coronavirus.

David Warner
David Warner. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Who would have thought that a One-day International between home side Australia and their Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand will be played at an empty Sydney Cricket Ground? But, unfortunately, that is the reality of the times that we live in. The rising threat of the pandemic that is the novel Coronavirus has had a significant impact on all facets of life. And, sports is one of them.

The majority of the tournaments are being either postponed, re-scheduled or played inside closed doors. After the BCCI decided that the ongoing India-South Africa ODI series will be played in empty stadiums, Cricket Australia followed suit and announced that the rubber between Australia and New Zealand will also take place behind closed doors.

And, we got the first flavour of it on Friday when Australia locked horns with New Zealand at the SCG. And, the effects of playing in a ground bereft of any fans were truly visible when swashbuckling opener David Warner did not even realize that he’d got to his half-century, and it was only after his teammates started clapping that the southpaw waved his bat to acknowledge the applause.

‘Weird to play in an empty stadium’: Aaron Finch

“It would be weird to play in an empty stadium, no doubt you get so accustomed to the atmosphere of the fans who ride the momentum really well especially when you’re playing at home and the Australian fans support us so well and if it comes to go that we’ll wait and see,” Finch was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Coming back to the game, Australia got off to a brilliant start with both Finch (60) and Warner (67) posting a half-century to lay the foundation to the tune of 124 in 24.1 overs but neither of them could kick-on and convert them into a three-figure score. Marnus Labuschagne backed up his hundred that he scored in the third ODI in South Africa with a half-century but the hosts- thanks to the inability of their lower-middle order to cash in on the start provided by Finch and Warner- could only manage 7-258 after 50 overs.