The sporting calendar over the next few weeks looks extremely bare as events continue to be postponed or cancelled as a result of the threat of the coronavirus.

All of Europe's top five leagues have now been suspended, as the Bundesliga followed Serie A, LaLiga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League in calling a halt to proceedings just hours before its latest round of fixtures was due to kick off.

Golf's first major, the Masters, will not take place on April 9 as initially scheduled, while the Giro d'Italia, the final Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland, and marathons in London and Boston have all been affected by COVID-19, too.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 140,000, we take a look at the latest round of postponements.

 

After the PGA Tour cancelled all events leading up the Masters, all eyes were on whether the prestigious event at Augusta National Golf Club would be called off until further notice. That news arrived on Friday, with organisers saying it was "appropriate under these unique circumstances".

With around four hours to go before the first Bundesliga game of matchday 26, the league was finally suspended due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Germany.

Defender Timo Hubers, who plays for 2. Bundesliga side Hannover, was one of the first players across Europe to test positive for the virus, and Paderborn, who had been due to Fortuna Dusseldorf on Friday night, were waiting on tests results for their players when news came down from the league.

Clubs will meet again on Monday, with the league advising a suspension until April 2.

World Cup qualifiers in Africa were suspended, while European clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have stopped their players from training at their facilities for the time being.

As Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba encouraged people to "dab to beat coronavirus" and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp backed the decision to postpone the Premier League, Serie A clubs Sampdoria and Fiorentina reported positive cases involving their players in Italy, one of the worst-affected countries.

The country's major cycling race, the Giro d'Italia, will not begin as scheduled on May 9 as Hungary said it was unwilling to host the first three stages. The whole race was subsequently postponed.

Six Nations contest between Italy and England in Rome, originally slated for Saturday, had already been called off, and the only fixture of the tournament not to be postponed was put back indefinitely on Friday. Wales' clash with Scotland in Cardiff was finally called off the day before it was set to take place, while Sunday's Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale Sharks and Harlequins has also been postponed.

South Africa's ODI tour of India will be rescheduled for another time, the first match having been washed out on Thursday, while the Boston Marathon will now take place on September 14. The new date for the London Marathon is October 4.

Elsewhere, NASCAR has postponed races in Atlanta and Miami over the next two weekends. Those races were initially going to be held without fans. All IndyCar Series races through April have been cancelled.

Pacemen Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were to the fore as Australia claimed a 71-run win over New Zealand in the first ODI of the Chappell-Hadlee Series.

In a match that took place in the surreal environs of a deserted Sydney Cricket Ground – fans were not allowed to attend due to coronavirus measures – Australia captain Aaron Finch and fellow opener David Warner laid a solid foundation with scores of 60 and 67 respectively, combining for an opening stand of 124 in 24 overs.

The hosts wobbled to 165-4 as New Zealand battled back from Lockie Ferguson's (2-60) removal of Warner, with spinners Ish Sodhi (3-51) and Mitchell Santner (2-34) the pick of their attack.

Marnus Labuschagne kept Australia on course for a solid total, however, with a busy 56 from 52 balls that featured only two fours.

Mitchell Marsh added a similarly industrious 27 and the seam-bowling all-rounder chipped in with 3-29 as New Zealand rarely looked like threatening a target of 258-7.

Openers Martin Guptill (40) and Henry Nicholls made glacial progress, unable to get Australia's new ball bowlers away and they were 28-1 when the latter edged Hazlewood (2-37) behind.

The Black Caps' race was effectively run in a three-over period that saw leg-spinner Adam Zampa bowl Kane Williamson for 19, Ross Taylor thrash Marsh to Mitchell Starc at midwicket and Cummins (3-25) remove Guptill courtesy of a fabulous catch by Steve Smith at backward point.

A defiant sixth-wicket stand of 51 between Tom Latham (38) and Colin de Grandhomme (25) was New Zealand's final reason for fleeting optimism before Hazlewood had Latham caught in the deep after drinks and 147-6 began to subside to an eventual 187 all out with nine overs left unused.

Australia paceman Kane Richardson has been tested for coronavirus and will miss the opening ODI against New Zealand on Friday.

Richardson reported a mild sore throat on Thursday and is being quarantined as he awaits the results of his coronavirus test.

The 29-year-old was part of the Australia limited-overs squads that played in South Africa in February and March.

"Our medical staff are treating this as a typical throat infection but we are following Australian Government protocols that require us to keep Kane away from other members of the squad and perform the appropriate tests given he has returned from international travel in the last 14 days," a Cricket Australia spokesperson said, via cricket.com.au.

"Once we receive the results of the tests and Kane recovers in the next few days we expect he will re-join the team.

"We will not be making further comment until something changes."

Sean Abbott has joined the Australia squad as cover.

The three-match ODI series, which begins in Sydney on Friday, will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.

Australia's upcoming one-day international series against New Zealand will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed that fans will not be allowed into grounds to watch the three-match series, which starts on Friday at the SCG.

Ticket-holders will be given a full refund with no decision yet made over Australia's upcoming three-match Twenty20 international tour of New Zealand.

"Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation at home and overseas before making a decision on Australian men's international matches beyond the Australian leg of the ODI tournament," said a statement.

It was also confirmed that Australia's World Cup-winning women's side's tour of South Africa has been suspended.

A series of three ODIs and three T20s was set to get under way in Durban on March 22.

"We have taken strong action today in the face of an unprecedented public health issue," said Kevin Roberts, CA's chief executive.

"We believe this is the right decision to minimise the risk of public exposure to the coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic on Thursday.

"We understand that these changes to our schedule will impact many, but we hope our community will understand that the public health and safety issues caused by the coronavirus must take priority over sport at this time. This is not an issue specific to cricket."

Domestic cricket in Australia will continue as scheduled with the Sheffield Shield final to be played on March 27.

The coronavirus pandemic continued to lead to widescale disruption in the world of sport on Thursday.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in the ATP Tour being suspended for six weeks, while the PGA Tour will be played behind closed doors until April 5.

Football in Spain, the Netherlands, the United States and Portugal has been put on hiatus, while Champions League games between Manchester City and Real Madrid, and Juventus and Lyon have been postponed.

A second Serie A player has been confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, while the Utah Jazz announced a second positive test for COVID-19. Donovan Mitchell confirmed he was the latest individual with the infection, while Rudy Gobert is reported to be the other.

We look at the biggest events to have been impacted by the proliferation of the virus.

 

A six-week suspension was implemented by the ATP Tour, which it said came in the wake of the World Health Organization declaring the spread of COVID-19 constituted a pandemic and 30-day travel restrictions imposed by the United States.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: "This is not a decision that was taken lightly and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide. However, we believe this is the responsible action needed at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the wider tennis community and general public health in the face of this global pandemic."

The WTA Tour was yet to follow suit, but the Miami Open has been scratched from its schedule after a state of emergency was declared in Miami-Dade County.

Following the news that LaLiga had suspended its next two matchdays and Real Madrid had established a self-imposed quarantine in the wake of one of their basketball players testing positive for COVID-19, Los Blancos' Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City on Tuesday was postponed.

The meeting between Juventus and Lyon has also been pushed back after Daniele Rugani was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus and the Serie A champions implemented isolation procedures.

UEFA will hold a videoconference with European football stakeholders on Tuesday to discuss the response to the outbreak. The talks will include all domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020.

Bosnia-Herzegovina has requested its Euro 2020 play-off against Northern Ireland on March 26 be postponed, while Denmark expects its friendly against England five days later to be cancelled.

One game that has been cancelled is Wales' friendly against the United States on March 30.

Sampdoria announced Manolo Gabbiadini was the second professional Serie A player to test positive. The club said he had "a slight fever, but is otherwise fine". On Sunday Gabbiadini played 61 minutes against Hellas Verona, who also activated isolation procedures as a result.

Hannover confirmed a second case of coronavirus in their squad, with Jannes Horn following Timo Hubers in testing positive. All players from the German team will be under home quarantine for the next 14 days, with the club asking for their upcoming 2.Bundesliga games against Dynamo Dresden and Osnabruck to be called off.

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers revealed three of his players have shown symptoms of coronavirus and have been isolated from their team-mates. Stats Perform understands all players put into isolation have only displayed mild symptoms, meaning they have not met the threshold to be tested for the virus.

In the Netherlands, all football has been cancelled until March 31. This includes amateur and professional games, as well as the national team's fixtures against the USA and Spain.

Portugal's Primeira Liga and the CONCACAF Champions League have been postponed for an indefinite period, while MLS has been suspended for the next 30 days.

Elsewhere in the USA, the NHL season has been paused. Comissioner Gary Bettman said: "Following last night's news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus - and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point - it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time."

The PGA Tour will continue as scheduled, though fans will be barred from attending events starting from Friday at the Players Championship until the Texas Open, which finishes on April 5.

However, the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship has been cancelled due to potential logistical issues associated with players and staff travelling internationally.

The Washington Wizards have imposed self-isolation on players, coaches and basketball operations personnel for three to four days. The Wizards played the Jazz – who have confirmed two cases of coronavirus among their roster – on February 29 and the New York Knicks on March 10. The Knicks had a game with Utah six days before the Wizards did.

The Jazz's second positive test came after their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday was called off. Mitchell said on Instagram: "Thanks to everyone who has been reaching out since hearing the news about my positive test. We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realise that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them."

After the NCAA announced no fans would be permitted at March Madness, the American, Atlantic 10, C-USA, MAC, America East, Big East, Big Sky and WAC announced their conference tournaments had been cancelled.

The Washington Redskins became the first NFL team to announce a change in protocol in relation to the coronavirus. Redskins owner Dan Snyder said: "Due to health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19, Redskins have informed all coaches and scouts to suspend all travel until further notice."

Promoters Top Rank have confirmed their upcoming boxing shows at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden will go ahead behind closed doors.

Shakur Stevenson is scheduled to defend his WBO featherweight world title against Miguel Marriaga in the main event on Friday's card in New York, while Michael Conlan headlines next Tuesday when he takes on Belmar Preciado in a 10-round contest.

The remaining two ODIs between India and South Africa will also be played behind closed doors, the International Cricket Council announced. There will also be no fans at Pakistan Super League games in Karachi.

In rugby union, the Pro14 has been indefinitely suspended. A statement said: "Resumption of the 2019-20 season will now become a matter of constant review. To this point Pro14 Rugby has ensured that it has the latest information and guidance made available by the local and national authorities via our participating unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa."

However, the quarter-finals in the European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup remain set to go ahead as planned.

The next two NASCAR events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway over the next two weekends will be undertaken behind closed doors.

The first ODI international between India and South Africa was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Dharamsala.

Both teams suffered the same fate at the same venue six months ago when they were set to meet in a T20I showdown.

The washout means the three-match series will head to Lucknow on Sunday all square.

Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are back in the India ODI squad to face South Africa after recovering from injuries.

All-rounder Pandya had not played an international game since September having undergone back surgery.

A shoulder injury suffered in the ODIs with Australia in January had kept Dhawan on the sidelines, while Bhuvneshwar, who last played for India in December, has been out with a sports hernia.

They return to the squad along with opener Shubman Gill. Kedar Jadhav, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami and Mayank Agarwal drop out from the squad that suffered a 3-0 whitewash in New Zealand.

Pandya provided a reminder of his quality with the bat as he proved his fitness to selectors in the invitational DY Patil T20 competition.

He scored two centuries in that tournament, including an unbeaten 158, and will hope to make a similar impact against a South Africa side that completed a 3-0 series win over Australia on Saturday.

The first match of the three-game series takes place on Thursday in Dharamsala.


India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Navdeep Saini, Prithvi Shaw, Kuldeep Yadav.

South Africa-born Marnus Labuschagne made his first ODI century in the country of his birth, yet it came in a losing cause as Australia suffered a series whitewash against the Proteas.

Labuschagne scored 108 out of the tourists' 254-7, bouncing back from a duck in Bloemfontein last time out to reach three figures in Potchefstroom, which is around 40 minutes away from where the batsman grew up before moving Down Under.

Anrich Nortje (2-35) and JJ Smuts (2-42) had kept Australia to a below-par total which never looked like being enough given neither Mitchell Starc nor Pat Cummins were in their attack.

Smuts (84), Kyle Verreynne (50) and the in-form Heinrich Klaasen (68 not out) all registered half-centuries as South Africa claimed a six-wicket win with 27 balls to spare, sealing a 3-0 series victory.

South Africa made a strong start when opener David Warner nicked behind off Nortje on just four and Steve Smith was pinned lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo, the decision remaining with the umpire's call following a review.

The pressure was perhaps telling on Australia captain Aaron Finch, who tore into Labuschagne for turning down a single from the non-striker's end following a brilliant piece of fielding from David Miller.

There was more great work from Miller at short extra cover to remove Finch on 22 as the fielder got his fingers underneath a low chance to give Daryn Dupavillon a maiden ODI wicket.

D’Arcy Short (36) put on 81 alongside Labuschagne before becoming Smuts' first victim and Mitchell Marsh (32) was sent back thanks to more brilliance from Miller, who dived to stop Labuschagne's drive and whipped an underarm throw to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for a simple run out.

Alex Carey was bowled by Smuts in the same over without scoring but Labuschagne went on to make an emotional century in front of around 50 watching family members.

In reply, South Africa lost both openers to Josh Hazlewood but the lack of Starc, who has returned home to watch wife Alyssa Healy in the Women's T20 World Cup final, and Cummins allowed Smuts and Verreynne to put on 96 for the third wicket.

Both men picked out fielders from mistimed slogs, but Warner was then unable to hang on to a loose shot from Klaasen, who reached his 50 when shelled at mid-on.

Klaasen sealed the victory by going four-four-six off Marsh, taking his tally for the series to 242 runs.

Mashrafe Mortaza earned glowing praise from Bangladesh team-mates after captaining his country for the final time in ODIs.

Bangladesh thrashed Zimbabwe by 123 runs on the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method in Sylhet, sealing a 3-0 series triumph and making it 50 ODI wins from 88 matches as skipper for Mortaza.

The 36-year-old was then showered with effusive tributes from the likes of Liton Das, who scored a stunning 176 to set a new national record in the format.

"He's got a very special place in my heart," Das said of Mortaza. "I made my debut under him.

"He's always supported me. Having a captain like that is always rare.

"We will miss him, because when he leads, there's no distinction between seniors and juniors. It's a lot of fun."

Mortaza gave credit to his players, saying: "This is a great honour. My boys have been fantastic. They have given everything for the team. I'd like to say my thanks to all the boys."

Adding to the kind words, Mahmudullah cited Mortaza's overall impact on the game in Bangladesh.

"He's been a brother and a friend, and he's done so much for Bangladesh cricket," he said. "We have operated in a very nice way. When he took over, we were floundering a little bit."

They were sentiments echoed by Tamim Iqbal, who shared a 292-run opening stand with Das on Friday.

"When he took over in 2014, we were nowhere," said Tamim, after making an unbeaten 128. "From 2014 to 2019, he took us to a stage where we were taken seriously all over the world.

"There were people who wanted me dropped, but he backed me all the way."

Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal dominated Zimbabwe's bowlers to complete a 3-0 ODI clean sweep for Bangladesh and give Mashrafe Mortaza a fitting send-off as captain.

In a match shortened by rain to 43 overs per side in Sylhet, the hosts posted 322-3 in Mortaza's final game as skipper, with Das and Iqbal sharing a 292-run opening stand – the third highest in ODI history.

Zimbabwe were set a revised target of 342 and came up well short, Mortaza earning his 50th win in the format as the side's leader, the 36-year-old chipping in with 1-47 in a 123-run DLS triumph. 

The home side were making fine headway when the weather closed in, the Tigers going off for more than two and a half hours with 182 runs on the board and the first pairing still going strong.

After resuming, Carl Mumba did manage to break the bond, taking three late wickets, although Tamim – who made 158 in the second match – remained unbeaten on 128.

Das smashed 16 fours and eight sixes in his stunning career-best 176, which came from 143 deliveries and ensured he eclipsed Tamim's tally from the previous outing to claim a national record in the format.

Zimbabwe's response was not nearly as spectacular, with Tinashe Kamunhukamwe falling in the first over to Mortaza and setting the tone for an innings of fruitless toil from the tourists. 

Sikandar Raza did post a defiant 61, with Regis Chakabva (34) and Wesley Madhevere (42) also gaining some credit, but their contributions came in another losing effort as Mohammad Saifuddin (4-41) did most of the damage.

The result completed a miserable series for Zimbabwe, who lost the opener by a record 169 runs, before succumbing to a defeat by just four runs in the second meeting. 

Mitchell Starc has been cleared to miss Australia's final ODI against South Africa to return home and watch his wife Alyssa Healy play in the Women's T20 World Cup final.

Paceman Starc was given the green light to fly back to his homeland to support Healy at the MCG on Sunday when Australia face India.

Australia have lost the series against the Proteas with one match to spare and they will have to do without left-arm quick Starc when they go in search of a consolation win in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

Justin Langer, the Australia head coach, said: "It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Mitch to watch Alyssa in a home World Cup final and so we were happy to allow him to return home to support his wife and be part of a fantastic occasion,

"It is something we have been talking about for a while, given Mitch has had a considerable workload in all three formats this summer. 

"His heading home a couple of days ahead of the rest of the squad means he will have a chance to refresh ahead of our home and away ODIs and Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand that will wrap up our season.

"We have plenty of fast bowling options with us here in South Africa with Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson all sitting out our previous match in Bloemfontein, and Mitch's absence will offer one of them an opportunity to impress in Saturday's match."

Mashrafe Mortaza will step down as Bangladesh ODI captain after the final match of the series against Zimbabwe on Friday.

The 36-year-old paceman first led the Tigers in white-ball cricket back in 2014 and has gone on to skipper his country 87 times in the shortest format.

Mortaza will get the opportunity to end his reign with a 50th ODI victory as captain when Bangladesh go in search of a 3-0 whitewash at Sylhet.

"I am leaving the Bangladesh captaincy," Mortaza said in a press conference on Thursday. "The third ODI is going to be my last game as captain.

"I took the decision myself. As a player, I will keep trying to give my best if I get the opportunity. I wish the next captain all the best.

"I believe that the Bangladesh team will reach the next stage under him. I will try to give him all the support through my experience.

"I think the three available senior players each have the ability to lead the side. Hope the BCB takes the best one of them."

Mortaza, now a member of parliament in Bangladesh, added: "I am everything due to cricket. If I didn't finish playing cricket, I would have been doing fish farming.

"My future definitely includes cricket, and if a player requires me, I will give it my best. I have to do my work in my constituency until the next election."

England fast bowler Jofra Archer has signed a two-year extension to his Sussex contract.

The 24-year-old, who made his international debut last year, has committed to the county until the end of 2021 season.

Cricket World Cup winner Archer was delighted to agree fresh terms.

"Sussex gave me my opportunity right at the beginning of my career, so I am very happy to commit long term to the club," said the paceman, who signed for Sussex in 2016.

Archer has 55 England wickets across all formats since making his breakthrough at the highest level but is currently sidelined with a low-grade stress fracture of his right elbow. 

Janneman Malan hit his maiden international hundred as South Africa moved into an unassailable 2-0 lead in the one-day series against Australia with a six-wicket win at the Mangaung Oval.

Opener Malan had endured an ODI debut to forget in the previous match, dismissed lbw for a first-ball duck by Mitchell Starc, but made amends on Wednesday, finishing up unbeaten on 129.

JJ Smuts and Heinrich Klaasen – who made a century last time out – made useful contributions as the Proteas impressively overhauled Australia's total of 271 all out despite losing Quinton de Kock to the third ball of their reply.

The South Africa skipper was once again cleaned up by Starc, who had also bowled the left-hander twice during the recent Twenty20 series between the teams.

However, Smuts helped put on 91 for the second wicket - making 41 from 64 deliveries - and while Kyle Verreynne fell cheaply, Klaasen followed up his knock of 123 not out on Saturday with a valuable 51.

Adam Zampa (2-48) dismissed Klaasen to give Australia hope, yet David Miller (37 not out from 29 balls) shared in an unbroken stand of 90 to steer the hosts to their target with nine balls to spare.

Malan hit seven fours and four sixes in an outstanding 139-ball knock that overshadowed the achievements of team-mate Lungi Ngidi, who had claimed 6-58 earlier in the day.

The paceman became the fastest South African to 50 ODI wickets on his way to career-best figures in the format, David Warner the first of his victims after smashing 35 during an opening stand of 50 with Aaron Finch.

Ngidi also struck twice in successive balls during the 13th over, removing Steve Smith (13) and Marnus Labuschagne, the latter cutting his first delivery to Malan at point.

Captain Finch and D'Arcy Short both made 69 - the latter posting his maiden ODI half-century - while Mitchell Marsh (36) carried his team to a promising position heading into the closing stages.

Yet from 238-5 with six overs to go, Australia lost their way. Ngidi returned to get rid of Ashton Agar, Alex Carey and Pat Cummins, while Anrich Nortje trapped Starc lbw off the last ball of the innings.

The tourists will hope to avoid a 3-0 series loss when they round out their limited-overs tour with the third and final one-dayer, which takes place on Saturday in Potchefstroom.

South Africa batsman Temba Bavuma will miss the remainder of the ODI series against Australia due to a hamstring injury.

Bavuma played in a 74-run win over Australia in Paarl on Saturday after missing the T20 series due to a hamstring strain sustained while fielding against England.

Cricket South Africa revealed ahead of the second ODI in Bloemfontein that the 29-year-old will play no further part as the Proteas eye a series win over Aaron Finch's side.

Rassie van der Dussen was drafted in as cover, but JJ Smuts took Bavuma's place in the side at Mangaung Oval on Wednesday.

Bavuma is due to fly out to India on Sunday for a three-match ODI series.

 

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