As Australia beat New Zealand in the first ODI of the three-match series, the players refrained from the customary handshakes after the match and resorted to applauding in order to appreciate opponents. This comes amid the novel Coronavirus breakout which is said to spread if contacted with an infected person. The hosts managed a comprehensive 71-run win over the Blackcaps at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
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 testing 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.
Apart from the ongoing ‘Aus vs NZ’ series, the worldwide panic caused by Coronavirus has already impacted many sporting events around the globe. In cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also recently announced the series between India and South Africa to be played in empty stadiums. Moreover, the much-anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) season has been postponed with a launch date of April 15 instead of the earlier planned March 29. On Friday, the England Cricket Board (ECB) also postponed England's tour of Sri Lanka amid the virus scare. The BCCI has also issued an advisory stating that it will follow all the government guidelines irrespective of what the franchise owners opine.