April 25, 2020 / 5:02 AM / a month ago

Vanuatu defies coronavirus shutdown with women's final

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is defying the coronavirus-led shutdown of global sport by scheduling their Women’s Super League cricket final and streaming it on social media on Saturday.

Most sport around the world, including all international cricket, has been brought to a halt because of the social distancing measures put in place to control the pandemic.

Vanuatu, some 2,000 kilometres off the east coast of Australia, has a population of 300,000 but has not yet recorded a single case of COVID-19.

“We’re lucky here in Vanuatu and life is returning to normal so we thought it was our duty to provide the world with some live sport,” Shane Deitz, chief executive of Vanuatu Cricket, said in a video posted on Twitter.

“We really hope that everyone around the world can tune in and watch some fantastic cricket coming from Vanuatu and break up the boredom you must be suffering stuck in your living rooms.”

Power House Sharks will play Tafea Black Birds in the semi-finals in the morning before the winners take on Mele Bulls in the final of the four-team competition.

The women’s final was preceded by a men’s exhibition match and streamed live from the capital Port Vila on the Vanuatu Cricket Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Shri Navaratnam

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