NZ vs AUS: New Zealand players celebrate a wicket during the 2nd T20I.© AFP
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Monday announced that the final T20I of the five-match series between New Zealand and Australia has been shifted to Wellington from Bay Oval and it will now be going ahead behind closed doors. The final T20I of the three-match series between New Zealand women (White Ferns) and England women will also be played in Wellington behind closed doors. “The final BlackCaps v Australia and White Ferns v England T20 double-header, scheduled for the Bay Oval on Sunday March 7, will now be played on the same date and time at Sky Stadium in Wellington. The change has been forced on NZC because of logistical complications arising from the transfer of this Friday’s second double-header from Auckland to Wellington,” the NZC said in an official statement.
The current Alert Level 2 protocols in Wellington mean all three double-headers – on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, will be played behind closed doors,” it added.
Earlier, it was confirmed that the upcoming third and fourth T20Is between New Zealand and Australia will be played behind closed doors. The first and second T20I between New Zealand Women (White Ferns) and England Women will also be played behind closed doors following the change to New Zealand’s alert levels with an eye on the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland would return to level 3 for seven days. As a result, no sport can be held at level 3, reported stuff.co.nz.
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 and the restrictions will last for a period of seven days. While announcing the new restrictions, Ardern said that the lockdown was needed due to there being no immediate transmission link between the new mystery case and the latest Auckland cluster.
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