Fans barred from Australia-New Zealand cricket series over coronavirus scare
Australia’s one-day series against New Zealand beginning in Sydney on Friday will be played without fans and a women’s tour to South Africa has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cricket Australia said.
“We believe this is the right decision to minimise the risk of public exposure to the coronavirus,” CA chief Kevin Roberts said.
Justin Langer’s team are due to get the three-game series against the Black Caps underway at the Sydney Cricket Ground later Friday, with another match at the same venue on Sunday then a final fixture in Hobart next Friday.
CA said spectators who had bought tickets to the event would be eligible for a full refund.
Media would be allowed in, but “a precautionary perimeter” would be set up to distance them from players during press conferences.
CA said the fate of Australia’s three-match Twenty20 series in New Zealand later this month was still being considered.
However, a tour by Australia’s women’s cricketers to South Africa due to begin on March 22 was suspended until further notice.
Australia has reported at least 150 cases of coronavirus so far, including among fans who attended the women’s T20 Cricket World Cup final and a Super Rugby match, both in Melbourne last week.
“These were not decisions taken lightly, but they are the most responsible courses of action based on expert advice,” CA’s sport science manager Alex Kountouris said.