New Zealand Cricket on Monday announced that the final T20I of the five match T20I series between New Zealand & Australia is shifted to Wellington from Bay Oval & will now be played behind closed doors.
The final T20I of the three match T20I series between New Zealand Women’s team & England Women will also be played in Wellington behind closed doors. “The final T20 double-header between Black Caps vs. Australia and White Ferns vs. England, scheduled at the Bay Oval on Sunday March 7, will now be played on the same date and time at Sky Stadium in Wellington. The change of the venue is done because of the logistical complications arising from the transfer of this Friday’s second double-header from Auckland to Wellington,” the NZC said in an official statement.
“Currently Wellington is observing Level 2 protocols over Coronavirus fear which means that all the three double headers on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, will be played behind closed doors,” it added. Earlier it was confirmed that the upcoming third 7 fourth T20Is between New Zealand & Australia will be played behind closed doors. The first & second T20I between New Zealand Women & England Women’s team will also be played behind closed doors due to the change in New Zealand’s alert levels due to rising cases of COVID-19.
On Saturday, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland will return to level 3 for seven days in the view of rising coronavirus cases. As a result no sport can be held at Level 3 according to the reports. The fourth T20I between New Zealand-Australia and White Ferns-England was to be played in Auckland, but as per the new guidelines, the matches were relocated to Wellington.
The rest of the country has moved to alert level 2 & the restrictions will last for seven days. While announcing the new restrictions, Prime Minister Ardern said that the lockdown was needed due to there being no immediate transmissions link between the new case & the latest Auckland cluster.