New Delhi | Jgaran Sports Desk: The coronavirus has put the sporting calendar in turmoil as several big tournaments of different sports has been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 scare. The cricketing world is also suffering from the deadly virus’ outbreak as most of the matches were being cancelled or are played in empty stadiums to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Also Read: BCCI postpones IPL 2020 till April 15 amid coronavirus outbreak

On Friday, New Zealand and Australia played their first ODI of the three-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground and apart from Australia winning the match, one thing that made the headlines was ‘players finding and picking the ball from the stands’, as there were no spectators to help them.

During the match, the direct effect of matches being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak was experienced by the players of both Australia and New Zealand, who had to climb the stands to find the ball.

In one instance, New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson had to climb the stands in the 19th over of the first innings after Australian opener and captain, batting at 37, sent the ball into the stands on Ish Sodhi’s delivery. With no spectators in the empty stadium to pass the ball to the fielding side, Lockie Ferguson was left with no option and had to climb the stands and find the ball between the chairs.


Cricket Australia also shared a gif from the incident on Twitter.

A similar incident happened in the second innings when New Zealand was batting. James Neesham of New Zealand hit Smith’s ball for the maximum in the 23rd over, and the result was the same, Australia’s Ashton Agar had to physically retrieve the ball from the stands.  

The netizens were quick to remind the cricketers of the value of spectators and posted some hilarious trolls on social media.

Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand's limited-overs tours have been postponed in the wake of new travel restrictions announced by the New Zealand government on Saturday aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: India's remaining two ODIs against South Africa called off in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, as quoted by news agency AFP on Saturday said that everyone entering the country from midnight Sunday must self-isolate for 14 days in an effort to contain the outbreak. The new restrictions meant New Zealand's cricket team would head home from their current tour of Australia, the sport's national federation said.


(With AFP Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan