The final round of the Sheffield Shield has been called off. Picture: AAP
The final round of the Sheffield Shield has been called off. Picture: AAP

Sheffield Shield season cut short

AUSTRALIA'S domestic cricket season is likely over after the final round of the Sheffield Shield was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The three matches were on Sunday called off by Cricket Australia as the global pandemic spreads.

A decision as to whether the Shield final on March 27 goes ahead is yet to be made.

If a decider does go ahead, it will feature NSW and Victoria as they occupy the top-two spots on the table.

It is the first abandoned Shield round since the tragic death of Phillip Hughes in November 2014, which saw matches stopped after the 26-Test batsman was struck while batting for South Australia at the SCG.

"At times like this, cricket must take a back seat for the greater good," Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said.

"The decisions made this week are not something we are accustomed to in cricket. "But by making them, we hope we can contribute to the global effort to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of coronavirus."

In matches scheduled to begin on Tuesday, South Australia were due to host Queensland at Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide while NSW were to play in Perth against Western Australia.

If the final is able to be played it will be between NSW and Victoria, who occupy the first and second spots on the ladder respectively. Picture: AAP
If the final is able to be played it will be between NSW and Victoria, who occupy the first and second spots on the ladder respectively. Picture: AAP

Victoria were set to host Tasmania at Junction Oval from Thursday. All venues had already announced that fans would be barred from attending.

The Shield announcement comes just a day after Australia's Chappell-Hadlee ODI series against New Zealand was abandoned, with the Black Caps team rushing home due to coronavirus precautions.

A three-game Twenty20 series between the trans-Tasman rivals, due to begin in New Zealand on March 24, has also been postponed.

The Australian under-19s women's tour of South Africa in April and an under-19s indigenous team trip to New Zealand have been called off.

Internationally, England's two-Test tour of Sri Lanka has been abandoned while this year's Indian Premier League is in limbo, with organisers pushing back the start date until April 15.


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