The Australian men’s T20 match against New Zealand in Auckland has been shifted amid coronavirus concerns, with Wellington to host the next two fixtures without spectators.
- The New Zealand government announced Auckland would enter a seven-day lockdown beginning on Sunday
- Australia was due to play New Zealand at Auckland’s Eden Park next Friday
- Wellington will host the next two matches in the T20 series
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) scrambled to change the five-match series on Saturday, as the country raised its COVID-19 alert levels.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would go into a seven-day lockdown from early Sunday.
Ms Ardern on Saturday night raised Auckland’s alert level to three — which halts all sport — and the rest of the country to level two in the wake of lingering COVID-19 cases in Auckland.
NZC said the change in alert status meant Australia’s next clash against the Black Caps in Wellington on March 3 would proceed as scheduled but without spectators.
And the scheduled March 5 match in Auckland has been shifted to Wellington, again without a crowd.
New Zealand leads the series 2-0. The fifth and final match on March 7 will remain in Tauranga as scheduled, with NZC awaiting further government advice about crowds at that fixture.
The moves come as Cricket Australia expressed concerns over its players and support staff travelling to Auckland.
There have been no been coronavirus cases in Wellington or Tauranga for months.
Australia’s netballers are due to play a four-match Constellation Cup series against New Zealand next week.
But as the Diamonds’ matches are scheduled in Christchurch and Tauranga, they can avoid Auckland until their flight back to Australia.