The cricketing world came into the grip of the Covid-19 fear as Australia vs New Zealand 1st ODI on March 20 was the last match before a series of events were canceled or suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia and New Zealand played the last international match before coronavirus halted cricket. (AFP Photo)
- 2 months ago, Australia played New Zealand in the final international match possible before coronavirus
- Australia romped home to a comfortable 71-run victory over New Zealand in the 1st ODI in Sydney
- SCG game was indeed a “unique” experience due to it being played in empty stadium
As with most sports, ef forts to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic have forced the shutdown of cricket around the world. Exactly 2 months ago on March 13, Australia and New Zealand faced off in the final international cricket match possible before the coronavirus pandemic brought cricket to a halt in mid-March.
Australia met New Zealand at the beautiful Sydney Cricket Ground and as the two captains went for the toss there was no roar or applause from the crowd as there was no crowd. Aaron Finch and Kane Williamson shook hands out of habit during the toss and later when they realised the magnitude of risk they had taken amidst the coronavirus pandemic, they got startled first and then laughed it off with a quick joke.
Apart from a fistful of media persons, groundstaff and the teams themselves, there wasn’t a single soul present in the 48,000-capacity stadium. The eerie silence was such that Australian opener David Warner didn’t even realise he had scored a 50 until he was reminded by his captain at the other end.
Australia romped home to a comfortable 71-run victory over New Zealand in the 1st ODI in Sydney- a game that became more famous for being played in an empty stadium due to the coronavirus outbreak.
For international cricketers accustomed to playing in front of big crowds, the SCG game was indeed a “unique” experience. The remaining two matches of the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series did not take place along with the three-match T20I series between the two teams in New Zealand later this month due to new travel restrictions imposed by the New Zealand government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Two months after that strange and unique ODI between Australia- New Zealand, no cricket action seems likely in the foreseeable future due to the pandemic.
With the 13th IPL suspended indefinitely, the Test tour of Bangladesh abandoned and a limited-overs tour of England in July also likely to be called off, fans will be without any cricket action this winter. There are also doubts over the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in October-November in Australia. New Zealand’s home international summer is also uncertain with Pakistan and West Indies scheduled to tour for Tests and Sri Lanka in the shorter form.