Like the daily routines in life, global sports have also suffered due to COVID-19 or coronavirus outbreak. It has also affected cricket hugely. While Australia-New Zealand ODI series is now running behind the close door, we are seeing some irregular and unimpressive images due to the absence of the passionate cricket fans. During the first game of the ODI series, the on-field players have to bring the balls from the stands.
The three-match ODI series between the hosts Australia and the visitors New Zealand have begun on Friday (13th March). While they are playing the opening game of this series at Sydney Cricket Ground (Sydney), the Cricket Australia (CA) has decided to run this entire ODI series behind the close door in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
While more than 1,30,000 people have been affected in the coronavirus, including the death reports of around 5,000, Australia has reported more than 150 coronavirus cases. As the situation is changing rapidly globally, Australia is also taking the present condition seriously like the other affected countries.
It was very much expected that international cricket in the empty stadium can’t be same as the full-packed stadium. Just less than a week ago (8th March), the country created history by organising the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 final in the presence of 86,174 crowds at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (Melbourne). But coronavirus has forced the same country to organise the men’s ODI series between the neighbour countries behind the close door.
Australia vs New Zealand (Sydney ODI): Hosts set the challenging first innings total
The first ODI of the series is the day/night ODI. After winning the toss, Australian captain Aaron Finch decided to bat first. As the match is running in an empty stadium, the players are collecting the ball from the stands instead of the spectators’ help to get back the ball inside the playing ground.
During the Australian innings, once we saw that the New Zealand cricketer Lockie Ferguson was throwing the ball from the empty stand to the field.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 13, 2020
At the end of the first innings, Australia scored 258/7 (50 overs). Apart from the openers, David Warner (67) and Aaron Finch (60), Marnus Labuschagne (56) also played the crucial 50+ knock in that innings.