Cricket news round-up – March 25: Lions, Dolphins win South African domestic competitions

Cricket news round-up – March 25: Lions, Dolphins win South African domestic competitions

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Cricket South Africa declared the domestic season winners, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced a potential season opening date, and Sourav Ganguly offered the Eden Gardens to West Bengal Government for the quarantine facility.

CSA declare domestic season winners

CSA announced the winners of the domestic season 2019-20 as all the matches were stalled due to COVID-19 outbreak. The Lions won the four-day competition whereas the Dolphins won the 50-over tournament. Both the teams were topping the table in the respective tournaments.

CSA Interim Director of Cricket Graeme Smith explained the reason behind declaring the champions, “This is undoubtedly the fairest way to decide the various winners. In the provincial competitions where some teams have played more games than others, we have taken the average number of points per game to decide on final log positions. In the Momentum One-Day Cup, it was also important that we put extra weight on the performances of the teams that earned home ground advantage for the knockout stage."

The Women’s titles went to Western Province for T20 and North-West for 50-over tournament.

ECB announce potential season-opening date

Among all the COVID-19 outbreak, ECB announced that the season would not start at least before May 28. The work already began to revise the schedule to have more matches in June, July, and August. In case the cricket can be resumed, the international tours, the Hundred and the T20 Blast will be given preference. This can have a severe impact on many counties as there will be curtailed seasons for first-class and List-A matches.

However, cricket in June looks unlikely as the UK government assessed that the COVID-19 outbreak will reach its peak in the country in June and hence a July or August start of the season looks more likely. This will include test matches against West Indies, a tour by India Women’s team and the Vitality T20 Blast.

Sourav Ganguly Offers Eden Gardens for quarantine facility

As a part of fighting the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Sourav Ganguly, the former CAB president and current BCCI president, offered the Eden Gardens Indoor facility and players dormitory to West Bengal state government for using these as a temporary medical centre to keep quarantine patients to combat the pandemic.

He pledged to provide all the support to government as and when required. Ganguly also mentioned that he is in talks with BCCI secretary Jay Shah regarding making any donation or fund to support the fight against COVID-19.

In the meantime, a complete lockdown was announced by state and central government and Ganguly supported the decision and mentioned that, this should help us flattening the curve of the COVID-19 cases.

The legacy will continue, says Matthew Mott

Two weeks ago world cricket a massive crowd gathering for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Post the tournament the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm in no time. All international cricket tournaments got cancelled and respective cricket boards called of their domestic seasons. But the current global emergency would not be able to stop the legacy the Australian women cricket created, according to the team coach Matthew Mott.

"There's been a real drive from cricket community in women's cricket. There are a lot of people who should take credit for that – Belinda Clarke, James Sutherland, Pat Howard. All the former players, who set the foundation for what has been a real celebration. The legacy will live on," he said.

"We will be working out how the landscape looks like in two weeks time. And then we will make our plans. The one-day World Cup is now our focus so we will move away from T20."