Sydney, Mar 13 : Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, all the three one-day internationals of the Chappell-Hadlee series will be held behind closed doors, Cricket Australia announced on Friday. The first two ODIs are scheduled to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday and Sunday, followed by the final fixture at Blundstone Arena in Hobart on 20 March. Although the games will be played in empty stadiums, the coverage of the series will still be available on TV.
"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," said CA chief executive Kevin Roberts. "Cricket Australia has been monitoring the coronavirus situation for several weeks, particularly looking at the 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," he said.
"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," Roberts said. Australia women's team, who were recently crowned the ICC Women's T20 World Cup champions, were due to tour South Africa for three ODIs and as many T20Is later this month. Amid coronavirus pandemic, the series has been suspended until further notice, an ICC report said. Recently, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also confirmed that the remaining two ODIs of India's ongoing home series against South Africa will be played in empty stadiums in Lucknow and Kolkata. (UNI)