Ian Chappell reckons that the crowd's participation is not necessary after all the sporting events were forced to be held behind closed doors due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) which has spread its tentacles all over the globe. Due to the spread of this deadly disease, many events have either been called off or postponed. Meanwhile, the bilateral ODI series between India-South Africa as well as Australia-New Zealand have been rescheduled at a later date.
Coming back to the Australia-New Zealand series, the first ODI was played at an empty Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday where the fielders could be seen entering the crowd area to collect the ball as there were no spectators.
During a recent interview, Ian Chappell said that he is the one who believes that one does not necessarily need a crowd to be spurred on as a sportsman and that it is the thrill of a close contest that gets the juices flowing. At the same time, the former Australian cricketer also admitted that it was a strange silence that accompanied scintillating boundaries and landmark scores at the SCG.
Owing to significant contributions from skipper Aaron Finch, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne, Australia put up a target of 259 for New Zealand to chase. Despite the intent shown by the visitors, in the beginning, New Zealand failed to get going in the match as they kept losing wickets in quick intervals. Mitchel Marsh, who was adjudged as the Man of the Match, picked 3 wickets off his 7 overs giving away just 29 runs. Pat Cummins also bagged 3 wickets while Hazlewood and Adam Zampa scalped two wickets each. Martin Guptill top-scored for New Zealand with his innings of 40 runs.
The match also witnessed Australia's Kane Richardson being tested for Coronavirus. After showing early symptoms of being infected with the virus, the player was soon quarantine and tested. However, he tested negative and soon returned to the team. The match was also played behind closed doors to avoid mass gatherings and to contain the virus from spreading.