Australia women pull out of tour to South Africa

Australia women (TEAMtalk media)
Australia women (TEAMtalk media)

The Australia women's team have pulled out of their upcoming tour to South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic that has been sweeping the globe.

The current T20 World Cup winners were due to play three ODIs and three T20Is against the Proteas women starting later this month.

The ODI matches were due to be played in Durban (22 March), Pietermaritzburg (25 March) and East London (28 March) and the T20Is in East London (31 March) and Benoni (3 and 4 April).

Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation at home and overseas before making a decision on Australian women’s international matches beyond the tour of South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Australia men's three-match ODI series against New Zealand, that started in Sydney on Friday, will be played behind closed doors.

Kevin Roberts, Cricket Australia's chief executive, said all decisions were made with the health and safety of the public, players, staff and match officials as the primary concern.

Roberts said: "We have taken strong action today in the face of an unprecedented public health issue.

"We believe this is the right decision to minimise the risk of public exposure to the coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic on Thursday.

"We understand that these changes to our schedule will impact many, but we hope our community will understand that the public health and safety issues caused by the coronavirus must take priority over sport at this time. This is not an issue specific to cricket.

"Cricket Australia has been monitoring the coronavirus situation for several weeks, particularly looking at advice provided by DFAT and other relevant government agencies, including the Australian Institute of Sport, which has outlined a coordinated approach for all Australian sports.

"We have also consulted with an infectious diseases specialist. Our players and staff have been adopting recommended sanitary practices during this time to minimise the chance of exposure and will continue to do so."

- TEAMtalk media

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