Cricket Australia has decided to bring about changes to its upcoming schedule as the country prepares to contain the coronavirus spread. A lot of sporting events in the country had been canceled or postponed due to the virus spread. Australia so far has 184 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a number that has been increasing daily, and has seen three deaths. Here area the full details of the changes as released by Cricket Australia.
Australia’s three-match One-Day International and three-match Twenty20 International Qantas tour of South Africa has been suspended until further notice. The ODI matches were due to be played in Durban (March 22), Pietermaritzburg (March 25) and East London (March 28) and the T20Is were due to be played in East London (March 31) and Benoni (April 3 and 4). Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation at home and overseas before making a decision on Australian women’s international matches beyond the tour of South Africa.
Australia’s three-match Gillette One-Day International series against New Zealand will proceed as scheduled, however fans will not be admitted into the venue. The matches impacted are March 13 and 15 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and March 20 at Blundstone Arena. All fans who purchased public tickets are eligible for a full refund and will be contacted directly by Ticketek. Media with current accreditation will be admitted into the venues and a precautionary perimeter will be established around players and staff during media engagements. A decision will be made in due course regarding Australia’s three-match Twenty20 International tour of New Zealand. The matches are currently scheduled to play in Dunedin (March 24), Auckland (March 27) and Christchurch (March 29). Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation at home and overseas before making a decision on Australian men’s international matches beyond the Australian leg of the ODI tournament.
The remaining games of the Marsh Sheffield Shield will proceed as scheduled. There are four games remaining in the season: South Australia v Queensland (March 17), Western Australia v New South Wales (March 17), Victoria v Tasmania (March 19) and the Final (March 27). Kevin Roberts, Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive, said all decisions were made with the health and safety of the public, players, staff and match officials as the primary concern. “We have taken strong action today in the face of an unprecedented public health issue,”Roberts said. “We believe this is the right decision to minimise the risk of public exposure to the coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic on Thursday. “We understand that these changes to our schedule will impact many, but we hope our community will understand that the public health and safety issues caused by the coronavirus must take priority over sport at this time. This is not an issue specific to cricket.
“Cricket Australia has been monitoring the coronavirus situation for several weeks, particularly looking at advice provided by DFAT and other relevant government agencies, including the Australian Institute of Sport, which has outlined a coordinated approach for all Australian sports. We have also consulted with an infectious diseases specialist. “Our players and staff have been adopting recommended sanitary practices during this time to minimise the chance of exposure and will continue to do so.”Alex Kountouris, Cricket Australia’s Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager, said the actions taken today were in keeping with advice received about the coronavirus pandemic from relevant government agencies and experts. “These were not decisions taken lightly, but they are the most responsible courses of action based on expert advice,”Kountouris said. “The health and safety of everyone in the cricket family is paramount and our actions reflect that. “This is an unprecedented global health situation and, as we’ve seen around the world, serious measures have been taken by many organisations to limit the spread of coronavirus. We are among those. “We will continue to monitor the situation and consult with relevant experts in relation to future matches and series.”