Cricket Australia (CA) has announced changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with fans barred from upcoming men’s ODI matches and the women’s ODI and T20I tour of South Africa suspended.
On Friday (March 13), CA released a statement confirming the decision as the coronavirus outbreak hits sporting events around the world.
“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.
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,” CA’s statement read of the men’s games.
Media personnel for these matches will be permitted to enter the stadium while fans are eligible for full refunds.
“Australia’s three-match One-Day International and three-match Twenty20 International Qantas tour of South Africa has been suspended until further notice,” CA stated about the women’s limited-overs leg.
Kevin Roberts, CA’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 minimize 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,” Roberts added.