Australia postpones Sheffield Shield final round amid Coronavirus fear

Sheffield Sheild

Sheffield Sheild

The threat of coronavirus is increasing as days are passing by and the cricket events are getting affected all over the world. The latest to get effected was Australia’s top first-class league, Sheffield Shield, as Cricket Australia (CA) has announced that the final round of the league has been postponed.

This is the first time since the Second World War that the Sheffield Shield has been called by the board. This time it is due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, they deferred a decision on the final, scheduled to be played from March 27, given the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Kevin Roberts, the chief executive of Cricket Australia (CA) took the decision in an effort to reduce travel and he hopes it will contribute to the global effort to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of coronavirus.

At times like this, cricket must take a back seat for the greater good,” he said. “We have been in consultation with relevant government agencies, our own medical team and an infectious diseases expert for quite some time now, and we have taken all their advice into account in making these decisions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Sheffield Shield matches that took place this week were all played behind closed doors at the WACA in Perth, Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide and Melbourne’s Junction Oval.

The final round was set to start on Tuesday with the clash between South Australia and Queensland. On the other hand, New South Wales were to travel to play Western Australia in Perth. Victoria were set to host Tasmania from Thursday.

It has also been informed that CA is awarding the NSW Blues, the current league leaders to be crowned champions if the final doesn’t take place in the end. It will be NSW’s 47th Shield title, and first since the 2013-14 summer if they are crowned champions.

However, if the public health situation improves in the next week, the final may proceed as planned with Victoria likely to be the Blues’ opponents. Victoria, the defending champions, have won four of the past five Shield titles, including beating NSW in last year’s decider in Melbourne.