AUS v NZ ODIs, T20s suspended due to COVID-19

By ScoreLine Desk - March 15, 2020

Australia’s international summer is over after the New Zealand government tightened its border restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

With New Zealand to enforce a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for those entering the country from Australia from midnight tomorrow, the Black Caps were making arrangements to fly home on Saturday evening.

It means the remaining two Chappell-Hadlee Trophy matches, scheduled for Sunday in Sydney and Hobart on Friday, have been called off.

This month’s three-match T20I series between Australia and the Kiwis in New Zealand starting March 24 in Dunedin has also been postponed.

Both Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket have expressed their hope that the two series can be played at a later date.

The news comes less than 24 hours after both sides played behind closed doors at the SCG on Friday due to the coronavirus outbreak. Australia won the game by 71 runs.

Australia’s Under-19 Indigenous team was also scheduled to play T20s in New Zealand later this month, but that series has also been postponed.

The Black Caps had already announced that fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, who bowled nine overs and took 2-60 in the first ODI, was in isolation after reporting a sore throat. The results of his test for COVID-19 were not yet known.

Australia paceman Kane Richardson missed the first game as he was tested for the virus but his results came back negative and re-joined the squad on the sidelines on Friday.

The impact of the pandemic on the cricket world has grown this week, with England and South Africa calling off tours of Sri Lanka and India respectively.

The upcoming Indian Premier League pushed back the start of the tournament while the ongoing Pakistan Super League will finish four days earlier.

The IPL was initially scheduled to start on March 29 but has been pushed back to April 15.

The April 15 date coincides with visa restrictions that have been imposed by the Indian government which would have kept all international players out of the country until then anyway.

Seventeen Australians hold IPL contracts for the 2020 season, led by Pat Cummins who was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders for a staggering A$3.17 million to become the most expensive overseas player ever.

“I’m not overly surprised (about the IPL postponement) after the announcements about the visas a couple of days ago,” said Cummins.

“It’s a shame but we’ll see what happens.”

By ScoreLine Desk

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