Cricket Australia today cancelled the 2019-20 Marsh Sheffield Shield final and named New South Wales the winners of the tournament on Monday. The decision was taken amid the coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, the CA has also “strongly recommended” that all forms of cricket in the country be stopped immediately.
"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," CA CEO Kevin Roberts was quoted as saying.
Roberts believes that these are the right decisions, albeit difficult ones in these circumstances. However, he did congratulate New South Wales, who were 12 points clear at the top of the table, on being named the Sheffield Shield champions. The title is the New South Wales’ first since 2013-14 and 47th overall.
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The announcement comes in after the final round of the shield was called off on Sunday in order to limit domestic travel, although the decider was still a possibility at the time. However, meetings on Monday saw the final being cancelled altogether.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected sporting events across the world. The Australian national team had to play their first ODI against New Zealand, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, behind closed doors.
The last two ODIs of the same series were then postponed as a precautionary measure amid the outbreak. The CA also postponed the team’s T20 tour of New Zealand, along with the women’s tour of South Africa.
"Based on expert advice from CA's Chief Medical Officer John Orchard and recent government information we want to ensure that cricket is doing everything it can to contribute to the global effort to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of coronavirus.” Cricket Australia said as part of their media release.
Australian cricket’s national body has also promised to continue ongoing work with state and territory associations to ensure that local associations get the support they need at this time of need.Published 17 Mar 2020, 06:51 IST