Australia calls off final round of domestic first class tourny

Sydney: Cricket Australia on Sunday announced that the final round of the domestic cricket tournament Sheffield Shield has been cancelled and a decision on whether to go ahead with the final in 12 days’ time is yet to be made. The decision has been made in the wake of the global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“At times like this, cricket must take a back seat for the greater good,” said CA chief executive Kevin Roberts. “We have been in consultation with relevant government agencies, our own medical team and an infectious diseases expert for quite some time now, and we have taken all their advice into account in making these decisions.

“In recent days, it has become evident that we must play our part in helping limit the spread of the virus by reducing person-to-person contact wherever possible. These measures reflect that. The decisions made this week are not something we are accustomed to in cricket. But by making them, we hope we can contribute to the global effort to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of coronavirus.”

The rapid spread of the disease has led to the sporting calendar around the world come to a virtual standstill. The Australian cricket team’s ODI series against New Zealand was called off, as was India’s ODI series against South Africa. Both series were to be held in empty stadiums before being called off altogether.

CA has held off making a firm decision about the Shield final that is scheduled to be played from March 27 given the rapidly evolving pandemic situation.