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Final Sheffield Shield round cancelled, final in doubt due to coronavirus

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14th March, 2020

Cricket Australia have cancelled the final round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield, with the season’s upcoming final in jeopardy.

The announcement follows the decision to cut short the ODI series between Australia and New Zealand, and comes as sporting codes around the world react to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

CA have said the cancellation of the round, which was set to begin on Tuesday March 17, is designed to prevent players and staff needing to travel to matches.

“At times like this, cricket must take a back seat for the greater good,” Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts 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.”

A decision has not yet been reached about the season’s final, which is scheduled to begin on Friday, March 27. Even who will be playing in the decider, with New South Wales and Victoria currently occupying first and second respectively on the Shield table, is yet to be determined.

The round would have seen South Australia host Queensland, Victoria host Tasmania and Western Australia host NSW.

It’s the first time a full Sheffield Shield round has been abandoned since November 2014, when the tragic death of Phillip Hughes saw matches cancelled mid-game.

Cricket Australia originally announced that the round would go ahead, but fans would be barred from attending to prevent the disease spreading.