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Aust-NZ ODI series cancelled through virus

By AAP Newswire

Australia's Chappell-Hadlee one-day series against New Zealand has been abandoned, with the Black Caps team rushing home due to coronavirus precautions.

The New Zealand government has announced measures that all incoming passengers will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period, from midnight (NZT) Sunday.

The Kiwis returned home immediately, with most on a 7:00pm flight out of Australia.

The teams were meant to play three Twenty20s against each other in New Zealand, starting from March 24, but those matches have also been called off.

"A consequence of this is that we need to get our team back to New Zealand before the restriction is imposed, meaning it will not be able to participate in the two remaining Chappell-Hadlee fixtures," a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) spokesman said.

"Arrangements are at this moment being made to fly the bulk of the squad home this evening."

Cricket Australia and NZC believe both series can be rescheduled.

"NZC understands and supports the government's position. This is a time of unprecedented risk and peril, and the personal health and well being of our players is paramount," the NZC spokesman said.

Kiwi quick Lockie Ferguson was placed into isolation on Friday due to a sore throat after game one, which Australia won by 71 runs with no spectators allowed into the SCG.

However, tests later returned negative for coronavirus. He is expected to fly home on Sunday morning.

Australian fast bowler Kane Richardson missed the series opener after also suffering a mild sore throat, but was cleared of coronavirus after being sent for tests.

An Australian under-19s indigenous team tour of New Zealand later this month has also been postponed because of the global health pandemic.