March 17, 2020 / 1:27 AM / 18 days ago

Cricket-Australia's Sheffield Shield final cancelled, NSW crowned champions

MELBOURNE, March 17 (Reuters) - New South Wales have been named Australia’s Sheffield Shield champions for the first time in six years after the competition’s final was called of due to the coronavirus, governing body Cricket Australia (CA) said on Tuesday.

CA had already cancelled the last round of Australia’s domestic first class season, leaving NSW top of the standings.

Victoria finished second.

CA also recommended that all cricket played “within the community” is ceased for the remainder of the 2019/20 season in response to the pandemic.

“Based on expert advice from CA’s Chief Medical Officer John Orchard and recent government information we want to ensure that cricket is doing everything it can to contribute to the global effort to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of coronavirus,” CA said in a statement.

CA said it had also closed all of its offices and advised staff to work from home until further notice.

The coronavirus, which has infected almost 180,000 people and killed over 7,000 worldwide, has brought global sport to a virtual standstill as authorities suspend, cancel and postpone events and competitions as part of containment efforts.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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