Australian pacer Kane Richardson has been tested for Coronavirus after arriving home from South Africa with a mildly sore throat.
The three-match ODI series against New Zealand is being played behind closed doors as Cricket Australia announced that the fans will not be allowed inside the stadium to witness the action due to the Coronavirus outbreak. While the first two ODIs are scheduled to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (March 13th and March 15th), the third fixture is on March 20th at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
Richardson, who was a part of Australia's limited-overs squads during the recently-concluded South Africa tour, has been quarantined and the results of his Coronavirus test are awaited. The 29-year-old informed team doctors of his sore throat on Thursday night and has been replaced by Sean Abbott in the Australian squad for the ongoing Chappell-Hadlee Trophy against New Zealand.
“Our medical staff are treating this a typical throat infection but we are following Australian Government protocols that require us to keep Kane away from other members of the squad and perform the appropriate tests given he has returned from international travel in the last 14 days," a Cricket Australia spokesperson was quoted as saying by foxsports.com.au.
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Though Richardson did not make it to the first ODI at Sydney, he could still feature later in the series if the test results are negative.
"Once we receive the results of the tests and Kane recovers in the next few days we expect he will re-join the team. We will not be making further comment until something changes," the spokesperson further added when asked about Richardson's availability.
After the ongoing three-match ODI series, Aaron Finch's men will be heading to New Zealand for three T20Is, which are set to be played from March 24th. While the series opener will be played at Dunedin, the remaining fixtures will be played at the Eden Park in Auckland (March 27th) and the Hagley Oval in Christchurch (March 29th) respectively.
It remains to be seen whether the series will go ahead as scheduled given the COVID-19 outbreak.