New Zealand was the first country to declare itself free from COVID-19 last year. The country slowly returned to normalcy and even the crowds at full capacity were soon allowed in the stadiums to watch cricket matches. Even the ongoing T20I series between Australia and New Zealand witnessed full crowds in the first two matches.
However, according to the recent developments, Auckland has gone under Level 3 lockdown for seven days after a COVID-19 case emerged in the city. Thus the scheduled fourth T20I on March 5 at Eden Park has also been shifted to Wellington now.
The same venue will play hosts to the third T20I and the two teams won’t be travelling to Auckland now for the fourth game. Moreover, apart from Auckland, the rest of the country is on Level 2 alert and things can change quickly.
According to cricket.com.au, all the three matches of the T20I series are likely to be played behind closed doors as well. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) will take the decision accordingly after consulting the government.
“NZC has confidence in, and continues to operate within the New Zealand government’s alert level protocols. This means at level one it’s pretty much business as usual; at level two games are played behind closed doors, and at level three, games are abandoned,” the NZC spokesperson said.
New Zealand currently lead the five-match T20I by 2-0 and they will be looking to seal the contest in the third match on March 3 itself.