New Zealand abandons ODI, T20 series over virus concerns

<p>
              Empty seats ring the field during a One Day International cricket match between Australia and New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Friday, March 13, 2020. Cricket Australia announced that three one-day international matches between Australia and New Zealand would be played in empty stadiums because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The first of the three matches began at the 48,000-seat Sydney Cricket Ground, where television announcers spoke of the "eerie" silence in the stadium devoid of fans. (Dean Lewins/AAP Image via AP)
            </p>

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s one-day international series against New Zealand has been abandoned after the New Zealanders had to rush home due to coronavirus precautions.

The New Zealand government announced Saturday that all incoming passengers would be subject to a 14-day quarantine, from midnight Sunday.

“A consequence of this is that we need to get our team back to New Zealand before the restriction is imposed, meaning it will not be able to participate in the two remaining Chappell-Hadlee fixtures,” a New Zealand Cricket spokesman said.

Australia won the first match on Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground by 71 runs, with no spectators in the stadium. The second match was set for Sunday, also at the SCG, and the third next Friday in Hobart.

The teams were scheduled to play three Twenty20s against each other in New Zealand, starting from March 24, but those have also been called off.

“NZC believes both these series can be replayed in their entirety at a later and more appropriate date,” the spokesman said. “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.”