Wellington announced champions in cancelled Plunket Shield
New Zealand’s first-class competition Plunket Shield was cancelled before the final two rounds duo to coronavirus pandemic with Wellington Firebirds have been named as the champions for 2019-20 season.
The Wellington Firebirds have 26-point lead over Central Stags.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Chief Executive David White said the decision was made following the country’s government announced the mandatory policy of 14-day self-isolation.
“We’re informed the risk is very real; the pace of change is great – and we have a duty of care to not only our staff and players but our communities as well,”
White said in a statement.
It is reported that although the Plunket Shield has been cancelled, the remainder of the club and amateur competitions around the country will be expected to continue.
NZC also cancelled annual award ceremony scheduled in Auckland on March 30.
“Hopefully this is something we can stage at a later, and more appropriate date – but at the moment it would be far too much of a risk to hold the event in a fortnight, as scheduled,” White said.
“Our absolute priority right now is to safeguard the health and well-being of our staff, our players, our wider cricket family – and everyone else connected to the game in New Zealand,” he added.
The last two matches of the Chapell-Hadlee series between Australia and New Zealand were also called off after the government ordered the self-quarantine for all international travelers.
Australia’s Chris Lynn will have flew home after guiding Lahore Qalandars to their maiden semi-finals in the Pakistan Super League on Sunday.
“Unfortunately in these circumstances I’ve chosen to head home. I’ve always said there is more to life than cricket and this is certainly one of these cases,” Lynn, who smashed a 52-ball century in the match in front of a crowd voided Gaddafi Stadium, wrote on social media.