Cricket: Blackcaps' winter tour in 'serious doubt', White Ferns v Sri Lanka series off

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has been forced to postpone one upcoming tour, with many expected to follow, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Friday, NZC chief executive David White announced this month's White Ferns tour of Sri Lanka has been postponed, adding it was "most unlikely" the Blackcaps' winter tour of the Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland and the West Indies would go ahead in June and July.

"Clearly, this situation is extremely disappointing for everyone involved in sport, but given the bigger picture and the terrible toll COVID-19 is taking worldwide, we need to look after not only our own people, but the greater community good," White said.

"Cricket in New Zealand has been fortunate in that we were very much at the end of our home summer programme, when this crisis struck.

"However, with the lockdown now in full force, we're mindful of the difficulties facing our cricket community, particularly in view of the suspension of trust funding.

"Our current focus is very much on ensuring the future sustainability of cricket in New Zealand."

White added that there are still question marks over the Blackcaps' trip to  Bangladesh, and the New Zealand A tour to India, both in August, however it is too early to rule them out.

The rule is being applied for October and November's men's T20 World Cup in Australia, but if that has to be postponed, then NZC would have to rejig their summer schedule. 

The White Ferns haven't played since being eliminated from the Twenty20 World Cup in February, while the Blackcaps were forced to rush home during their Chappell-Hadlee one-day series, when the NZ Government shut the borders. The final two matches of the three-match series and the home T20 internationals against Australia were postponed. 

Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson.
Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson. Photo credit: Photosport

On top of that, White confirmed NZC had applied for the Government wage subsidy scheme to assist in navigating the next 12 weeks. 

Staff and management have agreed to essentially exhaust their leave entitlements by switching to a four-day working week.

The postponed NZC Awards have also been reinvented in the form of a digital and mainstream media campaign over the week of Tuesday, April 28.