As Australia defeated New Zealand in the first ODI at a completely empty Sydney Cricket Ground amid the coronavirus scare, Kiwi spinner Ish Sodhi stated that it was a very 'unique experience' playing without any crowd. The spinner remarked that it was 'very different' as every time anyone tried to speak to a fielder, the voice echoed around the ground. Australia registered a comprehensive 71-run victory in the first ODI of the three-match series on Friday.
What was it like to play a closed-doors ODI at the SCG?— ICC (@ICC) March 13, 2020
Here's Ish Sodhi ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/t78OagYt9y
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.
Apart from the ongoing ‘Aus vs NZ’ series, the worldwide panic caused by Coronavirus has already impacted many sporting events around the globe. 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 remainder of ODI series between South Africa and India has also been called off amid the novel Coronavirus scare.