Coronavirus: Australia-New Zealand series called off

It's the latest cricket tour that's been called off due to the coronavirus outbreak after abandonment of the India-South Africa ODIs, and the Sri Lanka-England Tests.

New Zealand's Trent Boult and Australia's Pat Cummins avoid the traditional handshake amid the threat of coronavirus pandemic   -  Getty Images

The two remaining games of the Chappell-Hadlee ODI series between Australia and New Zealand were on Saturday cancelled as the visiting team will have to hurry back home to avoid a new set of travel restrictions owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“In response to the New Zealand government’s latest travel restrictions, Cricket Australia has been advised the New Zealand team will be returning home immediately,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.

Read: IPL 2020 suspended till April 15 amid coronavirus fears

“Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket will work together to identify a future opportunity to play both series,” it added.

It has been learnt that on Saturday, the New Zealand government tightened border restrictions, stating that all those entering the country from Australia would be subjected to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.

The new restrictions, which come into from Sunday midnight, would have led to the New Zealand team being quarantined if it stayed back to complete the assignment.

The first match of the series had taken place without spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

New Zealand Cricket has revealed that pacer Lockie Ferguson was isolated from his team-mates and undertook a precautionary COVID-19 test after reporting a sore throat.

The results are still awaited.

“NZC understands and supports the government’s position. This is a time of unprecedented risk and peril, and the personal health and well-being of our players is paramount,” a statement from NZC said.

The Chappell-Hadlee series was the last international series still being played following the abandonment of England’s tour of Sri Lanka and South Africa’s one-day series in India on Saturday.

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