Some time ago, England captain Joe Root, on his arrival in Sri Lanka said that his teammates won’t be shaking hands during the tour. The decision was made because of the spread of Coronavirus. The idea was to take proper steps to be safe while on tour. Stuart Broad even took to Twitter to make fun of the decision. But something similar was witnessed during the first match of the Chappell Hadlee Trophy 2020.
On Friday, Australia wore their retro jersey, an outfit which won them the Cricket World Cup in 1999. Their trans-tasman rivals New Zealand didn’t shy from this opportunity as they donned on their jersey from the ICC Knockouts 2000, the only ICC event they have won till date.
The two strode out to play the first ODI and the stage was set for a cracking battle between the arch-rivals. But there was one problem, the entire Sydney Cricket Ground was empty and no spectators were allowed. The story of a great Closed Door Cricket match was already scripted.
‘This is a no-handshake zone’
But what about the players? Well, you might think it was funny of Root to say something like that. But, the Australian and the New Zealand side actually did it. After the match, the Australian team led by Aaron Finch was walking towards the dressing room. Kane Williamson and co. were on the boundary. The two captains saw each other and decided to walk off by just clapping hands in appreciation of their respective opponents.
In the video uploaded by Cricket Australia on Twitter, it can be seen none of the players from either side are shaking hands. The fear of the virus spreading has got them but the spirit of the game still prevailed as the players can be seen clapping for each other. The caption on the post read, “This is a no-handshake zone!”
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 13, 2020
Australia stands tall at the empty SCG
After restricting the Aussies to a below-par total of 258 for 7, the visitors couldn’t capatalise on it. Fifties from David Warner, Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne had taken the hosts to a safe total. But, the real job was done by the bowling department. Slow start and inability to get a partnership moving on led to the downfall of the blackcaps in this match.
Mitchell March and Pat Cummins picked up three wickets each. New Zealand was bowled out for just 187 runs. The Australians took the first ODI by 71 runs but a re-match is not far away.
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