New Zealand's domestic first-class competition Plunket Shield has been called off as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt sports all across the globe. As a result, Wellington Firebirds have been crowned champions for the 2019-20 season.
In light of recent events occurring all over the world, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said that upon the medical advice from doctors, the board has decided to conclude the tournament for the season. "The strong consensus within NZC is that extra measures need to be taken to safeguard both the health and well-being of the New Zealand cricket family and the wider public interest," White said. "The medical advice we're receiving is that we need to take a lead on this matter.
The chief executive also said, "We're informed the risk is very real; the pace of change is great - and we have a duty of care to not only our staff and players but our communities as well."
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Wellington Firebirds are currently on 83 points, 26 ahead of second-place Central Stags. Under the leadership of Devon Conway, the Firebirds have won four of their six games.
The NZC has also postponed the New Zealand Cricket Awards, which were to be held on March 30. The cricket board has made it clear that the health and well-being of the staff and players involved were absolute priority.
The national team also has to be quarantined for 14 days as a precaution after their sudden departure from Australia. This follows the abandonment of the Chappell-Hadlee series and the three T20Is that were scheduled to be held in New Zealand.