Australian body bans all forms of cricket to contain COVID-19

Empty seats ring the field during a One Day International cricket match between Australia and New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney last Friday, March 13. (Photo: The Associated Press)

All professional cricket has been cancelled in Australia in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Right down to children’s community games, national organisers are “strongly recommending” that the remainder of the season be called off at all levels.

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts called the move a preventative measure aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

“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,” Roberts said.

The governing body of the sport in Australia declared New South Wales state the winner of the Sheffield Shield, the national firsts-class competition. The last round of the regular season in the Sheffield Shield had already been scrapped.

New South Wales won six games, lost two and drew one in the Shield, finishing 12 points clear of Victoria state. International cricket series between Australia and New Zealand had already been cancelled.

The cancellation comes nine days after Australia hosted and won the women’s Twenty20 Cricket World Cup final against India, attended by more than 86,000 people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.