Coronavirus pandemic: From New Zealand tour of Australia to IPL 2020, a look at cricket events affected due to COVID-19 threat
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, a host of sporting events have been either cancelled or postponed. Among the biggest casualties on the sporting calendar, there was the Australian Grand Prix, the BWF India Open, some big-ticket tournaments on the PGA Tour, including the prestigious Players Championships, and the BNP Paribas Masters in Indian Wells, California, USA.
The cricketing calendar is also reeling from the effects of the pandemic. Here’s a list of cricket competitions that have been either cancelled or postponed.
New Zealand tour of Australia
The Blackcaps were touring Australia for a three-match ODI series. After the first ODI was played inside an empty Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), the remaining matches were called off and postponed for a later date.
Australia tour of New Zealand
Following their ODI series at home against the Black Caps, the Aussies were to tour New Zealand for a three-match T20I series. The same was called off after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that anyone visiting the country would have to undergo a mandatory self-isolation period of 14 days.
Australia Women tour of South Africa
Australia women's limited-overs tour of South Africa, starting on 22 March, was also suspended due to the dreaded novel coronavirus pandemic.
South Africa tour of India
The Proteas were in India for a three-match ODI series starting 12 March. The first ODI, in Dharamsala, was abandoned without a ball bowled due to rain. Soon after, the BCCI made an announcement that the remaining two ODIs were to be played in empty stadiums to contain the spread of the coronavirus. However, less than 24 hours after making that announcement, the BCCI called off the series and announced that it will be rescheduled for a later date, which it will decide jointly with Cricket South Africa (CSA).
Indian Premier League 2020
On 13 March, the BCCI also postponed the IPL season, due to start on 29 March, till at least 15 April. This was after officials from the sports ministry advised state governments to avoid large gatherings for sporting events to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
England tour of Sri Lanka
England’s Test tour of Sri Lanka was postponed on the request of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), while they were playing their final four-day warm-up match against Sri Lanka Board President's XI in Colombo. The two-match Test series was to get underway with the first Test at Galle starting 19 March. Both sides will now reschedule the tour for a later date.
Bangladesh tour of Pakistan
The second leg of Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan, consisting of a one-off ODI to be played on 3 April in Karachi, and the second Test match to be played from 5-9 April in Karachi, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ireland tour of Zimbabwe
The cricket boards of both countries mutually decided to postpone Ireland’s tour of Zimbabwe, starting 2 April with the first T20I. Ireland were set to play a three-match T20I series, followed by as many ODIs in Zimbabwe. The decision came soon after English counties Derbyshire and Durham chose to cut short their ongoing pre-season tour of Zimbabwe and head home after just one match due to the fear of coronavirus.
Road Safety World Series
The T20 tournament, featuring teams consisting of retired legends such as Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara among others, was postponed after four matches had been played. The announcement came after it was mandated that matches will be played in stadiums closed to spectators. The tournament began on 7 March at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where India Legends played against West Indies Legends and won the match by seven wickets.
Pakistan Super League 2020
On 17 March, the remainder of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 tournament was postponed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The announcement came hours before the first semi-final was to begin. Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium was due to host the semifinals between top-ranked Multan Sultans and fourth-place Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings against Lahore Qalandars on Tuesday. The final was scheduled for Wednesday. Last week, the PCB brought forward the finals by four days and barred fans from the stadiums at Karachi and Lahore for the last six matches in the league stage.
Domestic cricket competitions
Along with international cricket, domestic cricket in various countries also came to a halt this month due to the pandemic. In India, the BCCI put all domestic cricket tournaments, including the upcoming Irani Cup on hold. In Australia, all domestic cricket has been cancelled. Cricket Australia also cancelled the remaining matches in the Sheffield Shield tournament and New South Wales were announced champions by virtue of finishing at the top of the table. In New Zealand, the remainder of the Plunket Shield was cancelled and Wellington Firebirds were announced winners by virtue of being the table toppers.
Updated Date: Mar 17, 2020 15:42:51 IST
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