Coronavirus: Chappell-Hadlee series called off, Blackcaps to return to NZ immediately

The remainder of the Chappell-Hadlee one-day international series and the ensuing Twenty20 series have been postponed, due to coronavirus concerns.

The decision comes after the NZ Government introduced a mandatory 14-day isolation period for overseas arrivals on Saturday afternoon, as a precautionary measure against the pandemic.

New Zealand Cricket said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement meant it needed to bring its players back into the country, before the restrictions take effect at midnight Sunday.

"A consequence of this is that we need to get our team back to New Zealand, before the restriction is imposed, meaning it will not be able to participate in the two remaining Chappell-Hadlee fixtures.

"Arrangements are, at this moment, being made to fly the bulk of the squad home this evening."

After losing the opening match of the series on Friday night, the Blackcaps were scheduled to play game two at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, and the third and final game in Hobart on Friday.

Australia were then to travel to New Zealand to play a three-match Twenty20 series, beginning March 24.

Meanwhile, the restrictions will heavily impact the Super Rugby competition and the Warriors' involvement in NRL.

The Crusaders (Australia) and Highlanders (Argentina) are already overseas, and will now race against time to beat the two-week stand-down, which would presumably make them unavailable for next week's round. The Crusaders are due to host the Hurricanes.

The Chiefs were waiting to depart for South Africa, while the Blues are scheduled to face Canberra at Eden Park, with the visitors also subject to a stand-down, depending on their travel plans.

"There'll be further meetings with SANZAAR and we will await their decision," says Blues chief executive Andrew Hore. "We aren't the only industry that's been affected by this, and we have to take it in our stride and understand there's a far bigger picture than this.

"It's just one of those things we will have to navigate through as a business."

Warriors chief executive Cameron George was due to meet with NRL officials this evening, after his team took on Newcastle Knights on the New South Wales coast.

The Auckland-based side could also face isolation, when they return to New Zealand - they're due to face the Canberra Raiders in an Eden Park cross-code doubleheader next week.

But the NRL is keen to keep them in Australia, where they could play 'home' games unmolested.

More to come