Sheffield Shield to be without winner for first time since World War II!

Updated: Mar 16, 2020, 07:20 IST | PTI | Melbourne

Australia's domestic first-class tournament likely to be left without a winner for the first time since World War II (1939-45) after final round is called off

Tasmania's Charlie Wakim pulls one during a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at Hobart earlier this month. Pic/Getty Images
Tasmania's Charlie Wakim pulls one during a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at Hobart earlier this month. Pic/Getty Images

Australia's top first-class league Sheffield Shield could be declared remain vacant for 1st time for the first time since the second World War after the cricket board cancelled the final round of the competition due to the rising threat of Coronavirus, according to a report. Cricket Australia, however, deferred a decision on the final, scheduled to be played from March 27, given the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation, according to cricket.com.au.

CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said the Shield final round had been cancelled "in an effort to reduce travel" and he hoped it would "contribute to the global effort to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of Coronavirus". "At times like this, cricket must take a back seat for the greater good," he said. "We have been in consultation with relevant government agencies, our own medical team and an infectious diseases expert for quite some time now, and we have taken all their advice into account in making these decisions."

The CA chief added: "The decisions are not something we are accustomed to in cricket...it has become evident that we must play our part in helping limit the spread of the virus by reducing person-to-person contact wherever possible. These measures reflect that." In the final round matches, due to begin on Tuesday, South Australia were to host Queensland while New South Wales (NSW) were to travel to play Western Australia in Perth. Victoria were set to host Tasmania from Thursday. One option being considered by CA is awarding the NSW Blues, the current league leaders, the title if the final cannot be played.

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