Coronavirus fears end NZ cricket season

Daniel Gilhooly

New Zealand's cricketing summer has screeched to an abrupt halt with the abandonment of it's domestic first-class competition because of coronavirus precautions.

NZ Cricket announced the final two rounds of the Plunket Shield won't be played, leaving Wellington crowned champions as they led through six rounds.

The competition has been contested since 1906 and only been interrupted by the onset of two world wars.

With both of this month's one-day and Twenty20 international men's series against Australia postponed, it signals a premature end to the season.

All of the abandonments were necessary according to NZC chief executive David White.

"We're informed the risk is very real; the pace of change is great, and we have a duty of care to not only our staff and players but our communities as well," he said.

White said the Plunket Shield decision had not been taken under 'mass gathering' concerns but because of the heightened risk of transmission in areas such as airports and hotels.