The coronavirus pandemic has seen yet another cricket tournament being called-off as Cricket Australia, on Tuesday, announced the cancellation of the Sheffield Shield final. The Australian board also announced New South Wales as the winners of the 2019-20 Sheffield Shield season. CA has also “strongly recommended” that all amateur cricket in Australia – from club cricket through to premier cricket – stop immediately.
The pandemic is wreaking havoc on sporting events across the globe and cricket is one of the worst-hit sports. Almost all the major cricket events are being suspended or called-off due to the pandemic. Last week, a number of international series were called off. The BCCI also suspended the thirteenth edition of the IPL till April 15.
And keeping up with the rest of the world, CA also decided to suspend its premier first-class competition. CA chief executive Kevin Roberts confirmed the news on Tuesday and stated that the board took the decision in order to protect the fans, players and others associated with the game.
“By effectively cancelling the remainder of our season, Cricket Australia is playing its part in protecting fans, players, staff, volunteers and match officials during this unprecedented global health issue,” said Roberts according to cricket.com.au. “These are difficult decisions, but the right ones in the circumstances.
“Many will no doubt be disappointed that the Sheffield Shield, Premier Cricket and Community Cricket seasons won’t have their traditional ending. That said, we congratulate New South Wales who were 12 points clear at the top of the table on being crowned Sheffield Shield champions. As organisations around the world rally to slow the spread of the coronavirus, it’s important that we also provide decisive leadership,” he added.
CA announced the decision after the final round of the Shield season was cancelled on Sunday to limit domestic travel. At that time, it looked like the final would go ahead but CA decided otherwise and announced New South Wales as the new champions. The newly-crowned Shield champions were 12.23 points clear of the second-placed Victoria. It is their first title since 2013-14 and 47th overall.
List of international fixtures called off
The unprecedented situation has forced sporting bodies all around the globe to postpone, suspend or cancel their competitions. Last week, India’s ODI series against South Africa was called-off and so was the ODI and T20I series between Australia and New Zealand and the Test series between Sri Lanka and England.
On Monday, Bangladesh also called-off their last leg of Pakistan tour while Ireland did the same with their tour of Zimbabwe. Australia had also postponed Australia’s women’s tours of South Africa – senior and Under-19s – and an Under-19 Indigenous tour to New Zealand.
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