March 16, 2020 / 5:31 AM / 17 days ago

Final leg of Bangladesh's Pakistan tour postponed

LAHORE (Reuters) - The final leg of Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan, which involved a test match and a one-day international next month, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the cricket boards said on Monday.

Bangladesh were due to reach Karachi on March 29 to play the one-dayer on April 1 and the second test match which was to begin four days later at the port city.

“The two boards will now work together to identify a future opportunity to complete the ICC World Test Championship commitment,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.

Bangladesh toured Pakistan in January to play three Twenty20 Internationals before returning last month to play the first test in Rawalpindi which the hosts won by an innings and 44 runs.

The PCB has also indefinitely postponed the domestic Pakistan Cup one-day tournament which was to start from March 25.

Earlier on Monday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) cancelled the last two rounds of the Plunket Shield due to the pandemic and awarded the title to league leaders Wellington Firebirds.

Chief executive David White said NZC took the “difficult decision” after receiving expert medical advice and following the government’s move to tighten border controls.

“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,” White said in a statement.

The Wellington Firebirds clinched the 2019-20 title thanks to their 26-point lead over Central Stags.

NZC has also cancelled its March 30 annual award ceremony scheduled in Auckland.

“Hopefully, this is something we can stage at a later and more appropriate date - but at the moment it would be far too much of a risk to hold the event in a fortnight, as scheduled,” White added.

New Zealand’s schedule upheaval follows Cricket Australia’s decision to cancel the final round of the Sheffield Shield season in an effort to reduce travel.

CA was yet to decide if the March 27 final will take place as scheduled.

Australia and New Zealand’s limited overs tours have been postponed in the wake of new travel restrictions announced by the New Zealand government.

Australian limited-overs specialist Chris Lynn will head home after guiding Lahore Qalandars to their maiden semi-finals in the Pakistan Super League on Sunday.

“Unfortunately in these circumstances I’ve chosen to head home. I’ve always said there is more to life than cricket and this is certainly one of these cases,” Lynn wrote on Instagram after smashing a 52-ball century in an empty Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Christopher Cushing

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