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Emergency goalie David Ayres, 42-year-old Zamboni driver wins game for Carolina Hurricanes vs Toronto Maple Leafs

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Emergency backup goalie Dave Ayres made eight saves in relief of Carolina’s two injured netminders in the Hurricanes’ 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night (Canada time).

Ayres, who works as a Zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, was forced into action midway through the second period after Carolina’s James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured. The Hurricanes were leading 3-1 when the 42-year-old Ayres took over.

Warren Foegele scored twice, Martin Necas had a goal and an assist, and Lucas Wallmark, Nino Niederreiter and Sebastian Aho also scored for Carolina. Alexander Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall and John Tavares scored for Toronto, which beat the Hurricanes 8-6 at home on Dec. 23. Kasperi Kapanen and Tyson Barrie each had two assists. Frederik Andersen made 43 saves.

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Reimer started against his former team, but left just 6:10 into the first period with a lower-body injury after Toronto’s Zach Hyman shoved a Hurricanes defenseman on top of him in the crease.

Mrazek came in, but also had to leave after a thunderous collision with Leafs forward Kyle Clifford while attempting to play the puck near the face-off dot in Carolina’s zone in the second. That forced Ayres, who was available to both teams, into action.

After a bizarre second period that saw Carolina score four times, give up two goals, lose Mrazek, and have Ayres enter the game, the Hurricanes made it 5-3 just 53 seconds into the third, jumping on a turnover and beating Andersen in tight.

Necas then made it 6-3 at 3:44 when he picked up a loose puck to finish off a chaotic sequence as boos rained down.

Carolina trailed 1-0 after the first, but tied it at 5:46 of the second when Wallmark scored off a scramble in front of Andersen. Niederrieter then blasted a one-timer on a power play at 9:43 before Foegele made it 3-1 at 10:49. Mrazek made 14 saves in relief of Reimer, but left the game 30 seconds after Foegele’s first goal. The Czech netminder lay on the ice for a few minutes before leaving.

And after a delay, Ayres emerged from the Hurricanes locker room sporting No. 90. He got a some warm-up shots from his new teammates before getting thrown into the fray.

Aho made it 4-1 with Clifford in the penalty box for charging at 13:17, but Tavares scored on the first shot against Ayres through the pads 19 seconds later.

Engvall scored off a loose puck on Toronto’s next shot against Ayres at 15:10. The Leafs got a power play after that – fans at Scotiabank Arena screamed “Shoot!” almost every time a Toronto player had the puck anywhere near the Carolina goal – but the Hurricanes didn’t allow anything through. Ayres made his first save late in the second on Auston Matthews as Carolina led 4-3 through a wild 40 minutes.

Kerfoot capped a frantic first period with 35.1 seconds left when he scored his ninth of the season after Mrazek couldn’t control a shot by Jake Muzzin. In the first period, Zach Hyman shoved Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin into Reimer, earning an interference penalty. The Carolina goalie, who played for Toronto from 2010 to 2016, stayed in the crease after being looked at by a trainer, but left shortly thereafter.

For playing as the emergency goalie, Ayres was given $500 and his game jersey.

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ice hockey, New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens, Johnny Boychuk cops skate to the face

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NHL player Johnny Boychuk has copped a skate to the face during the New York Islanders’ game against the Montreal Canadiens in frightening scenes.

The Islanders defenseman left the ice clutching his head after he came into contact with the skate of Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen midway through his team’s 6-2 loss on Tuesday local time.

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WATCH THE FRIGHTENING MOMENT IN THE VIDEO PLAYER BELOW

Both players were in front of the New York net when Lehkonen appeared to lose his balance and fall forward, causing his legs to kick back and his right skate to connect with Boychuk’s face as he looked downward.

Boychuk immediately went down to the ice with his hand covering his face, before skating off in pain.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz did not have an update on the veteran after the game.

“It’s pretty scary obviously around the facial/eye area. He’s being evaluated,” Trotz said.

Johnny Boychuk lies prone on the ice after the incident.Source: Getty Images

“I think he’ll be OK, but it doesn’t matter, it’s a scary situation,” team captain Anders Lee said. “You hate to see that happen. It happens quick, skate to the face. I think that’s where all our minds are right now for sure.”

When asked how these types of injuries can be avoided, the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck said: “I don’t know, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. I haven’t come up with a good answer yet. Just not fun to see that at all.”

Johnny Boychuk clutches his face.Source: Getty Images

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NRL 2020, Scott Morrison, COVID-19, crowd bans, AFL 2020, Premier League, cricket news, NBA 2020, tennis

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared his intentions to attend Cronulla’s round one NRL match against the Rabbitohs on Saturday just moments after outlining the Government’s advice to ban large crowd gatherings from next week.

The PM revealed his Government’s directive that all “non-essential gatherings” of 500+ people should be restricted or cancelled as of Monday during a nationally televised press conference on Friday afternoon.

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It comes as the NRL and AFL held crisis meetings to address the rapid global spread of the coronavirus, which has already shut down the Australian Grand Prix, the NBA and several high-profile sporting leagues worldwide.

“We will be advising against organised, non-essential gatherings of 500 persons or greater from Monday,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“These events that we are seeking to advise against and restrict are for non-essential gatherings.”

But as Australian sporting fans were left confused as to whether games would proceed in the immediate-term, the PM said he would be going to the footy to watch his beloved Sharks at ANZ Stadium on Saturday evening.

“I am going on Saturday because it might be the last chance for a while,” he said.

Here’s what we know about how the spread of coronavirus has affected sports across the globe.

Here’s what we know so far.

FORMULA ONE

Lewis Hamilton has been critical of F1 bosses.Source: AAP

Formula 1 has confirmed that the Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled following the positive tests of coronavirus at Albert Park.

It is understood that the majority of teams decided against racing at Albert Park during talks held on Thursday night before a decision came at around 2am Friday morning (AEDT).

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen both flew back to Europe on the same flight overnight after that news before official confirmation was made just after 10am on Friday (AEDT).

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NRL

The NRL is scrambling to consider the financial implications of a league shutdown.Source: News Corp Australia

The NRL and the clubs are preparing for a season shutdown or for games to be played in front of empty stadiums as the rapidly evolving coronavirus takes hold of world sport.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered a press conference Friday afternoon when he announced the Government’s advice to ban organised events with an audience of more than 500 people.

It comes as the NRL was set to hold a phone hook-up with all 16 clubs at 4pm Friday to confirm its plans for round one.

The NRL will hold a phone conference with all 16 clubs at 4pm after the Prime Minister’s hands down his recommendations at a press conference at 3pm.

And in a stunning turn of events Townsville Stadium had to be evacuated not because of coronavirus, but bizarrely due to a kitchen fire.

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AFL

The AFL still plans to proceed with Round 1… for now.Source: AAP

The AFL wants to proceed with Round 1 next week and play every game of the home and away season – for now.

But that’s been thrown into major doubt with the government told to ban all gatherings of more than 500 people across Australia.

The AFL is desperate to make sure Round 1 is played as planned, albeit in empty stadiums.

Foxfooty.com.au understands the working group charged with coordinating a response is leaning towards shutting the gates to grounds rather than placing a blanket cancellation on early season matches.

The ultra-cautious approach would be to announce the first four weeks of the season have been postponed or wiped, but the AFL sees this as a last resort.

A 2pm conference call with clubs was delayed as the AFL works overtime to come to a resolution of sorts by the end of the day.

The league will be guided by the government’s advice which advises against mass gatherings of 500 or more people, but if there is no clear direction to postpone games, the AFL will almost certainly push ahead.

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NBA

Jazz All-Star teammates Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both have the virus.Source: AP

Donovan Mitchell joined Rudy Gobert to become the second Utah Jazz player to test positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus), and some finger-pointing has already begun.

The Jazz made an announcement early Friday morning (AEDT) that a second player had contracted the virus, and ESPN was quick to report that the player was Mitchell; the team’s other All-Star.

Gobert’s positive test on Thursday prompted the NBA to quickly suspend its season, with panic building among the teams that had recently faced the Jazz; all of those players asked to self-quarantine after news of the Frenchman’s test was released.

According to The Athletic, out of the 58 coronavirus tests that went out among Jazz players and personnel, only Mitchell’s came back positive.

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PREMIER LEAGUE

What would the shutdown of the English Premier League mean for Liverpool?Source: AFP

Premier League officials have confirmed all of this weekend’s matches will proceed as scheduled, but serious developments could threaten the league’s ongoing viability.

Three Leicester City players are ‘showing coronavirus symptoms’ while Arsenal and Manchester City players are self-isolating, putting the rest of the PL season in doubt.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has on Friday morning been confirmed as having tested positive to the virus.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rogers confirmed three of his players are being isolated from the rest of the side after showing coronavirus symptoms.

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has taken precautionary measures and is self-isolating in his Cheshire home after a family member fell ill.

A number of Gunners players have self-isolated after Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis contracted the coronavirus.

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EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus have already had games called off.Source: AFP

UEFA are in talks to suspend the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2020 due to coronavirus fears.

The two biggest club football tournaments have been thrown into turmoil as the deadly bug has started to affect a number of teams involved.

Also on the table is this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament, with Wembley due to host the semi-finals and final.

Juventus’ squad have gone into quarantine after Daniele Rugani tested positive for the deadly bug.

Cristiano Ronaldo has told Juve he will not be returning from Madeira during the outbreak.

FOLLOW THE LATEST>>>

CRICKET

Australia will play New Zealand in three one-day internationals across the next week in front of empty stadiums.

In an unprecedented move for the sport, foxsports.com.au understands the threat of coronavirus has forced Cricket Australia to lock the gates at the SCG on Friday and Sunday and then in Hobart on March 20.

Players and other relevant stakeholders were canvassed on the possibility of empty stadiums on Thursday.

Following these conversations, sources were left in no doubt that the governing body would implement the radical ploy, though it took until Friday morning for it to be made official.

Cricket Australia’s medical officials have been in constant dialogue with infectious disease experts in recent days.

It is understood this was primarily a Cricket Australia decision. No family or friends will be allowed in the ground, only broadcasters and accredited journalists.

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2020 TOKYO OLYMPICS

The Olympics may be pushed back to next year.Source: Getty Images

There are still major concerns over the status of the 2020 Tokyo Games, given Japan has been one of the countries hardest-hit by coronavirus.

A top Olympic official said on Wednesday contingency plans will need to be drawn up next month which could include delaying the Games by up to two years.

“The International Olympic Committee would be in trouble if there’s a cancellation. American TV rights alone provide them with a huge amount,” Haruyuki Takahashi told the Wall Street Journal.

The Olympics would likely be pushed into 2021 or 2022, rather than moved later into 2020, because of that funding from the United States.

NBC is the Olympic broadcaster in the US, and would not want its multi-billion investment in the Games to clash with its similarly large investment in the NFL, which begins its season in September.

US SPORTS

The other major professional sports leagues in the US have followed the lead of the NBA and suspended competitions.

The NHL hockey and MLB basketball leagues both confirmed overnight their seasons were suspended.

TENNIS

There isn’t going to be any tennis for a while.Source: AP

Nick Kyrgios put it simply on Thursday: “Bro (crying laughing emoji) there isn’t going to be any tennis”.

The biggest tournament of the year outside of the Slams, Indian Wells, was cancelled earlier this week just days out from the start of qualifying.

The global outbreak has forced the ATP to suspend its men’s professional tennis tour indefinitely.

It means that all ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events anticipated to occur up to and including the week of April 20 have been cancelled.

These include the Miami Open, U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships and Monte-Carlo Masters.

There are major questions over the French Open, which begins on May 24. France has temporarily banned all gatherings of over 1000 people.

At the very least, it’s likely the clay season will see cancellations. The Monte Carlo Masters are a month away, with the Barcelona Open a week after that.

The Rome Masters (May 10) is also in doubt given the heavy restrictions on movement placed in Italy at the moment.

GOLF

The PGA Tour has cancelled the Players Championship.

“At this point – and as the situation continues to rapidly change – the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause,” the PGA Tour said in a statement.

The LGPA announced that its next three events on the LGPA Tour will be postponed: the Volvik Founders Cup, Kia Classic and ANA Inspiration.

I am fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule, especially our first major, the ANA Inspiration,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.

At the moment, the PGA will be going ahead but without any fans present.

The PGA is not currently planning to cancel any events, with The Players Championship to begin on Friday at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is scheduled to be played in Austin in two weeks’ time – the same city that already saw the famous South by Southwest festival cancelled.

But PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said on Tuesday “we fully expect that the tournament will be held in Austin.

“That tournament is two weeks away. We’re all in and making certain that we’re able to operate that event.”

It was reported the PGA Championship (May 14-17) could be moved from Harding Park in San Francisco to TPC Sawgrass, while prices are dropping for tickets to the Masters (April 9-12).

The Washington Post reported a four-round ticket at Augusta was available for $3990 via Stubhub, when the same ticket went for $6490 last year.

Meanwhile the European Tour has cancelled several events in Asia.

RUGBY UNION

World rugby has been heavily affected by the coronavirus, with high profile games either postponed or moved around the globe.

Three men’s Six Nations fixtures in Europe have been postponed, along with numerous Pro14 games, while Super Rugby’s Sunwolves have been forced to move Japan home matches to Australia.

The Sunwolves will ‘host’ the Crusaders in Brisbane on Saturday.

Japan’s Top League is also on hold while the Hong Kong and Singapore legs of the Sevens World Series have been postponed until October.

A Super Rugby spectator at last weekend’s Rebels game has tested positive for coronavirus.

The man attended AAMI Park in Melbourne on Saturday for the Rebels fixture against the Lions.

“We are taking this matter very seriously and we are working with all relevant stakeholders to determine any potential consequences of his attendance,” Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson said.

The Rebels have also postponed a fan day at Moorabbin Rugby Club on Saturday.

“The continued health and safety of our community must come first,” Stephenson said.

Rugby Australia and SANZAAR say they are working together to safeguard players, officials, support staff and fans.

At this stage round seven of Super Rugby will go ahead as planned, starting with the Chiefs v Hurricanes game in New Zealand on Friday.

“There is a lot of misinformation in the public about the virus and the most important advice for the rugby community is to follow the advice of the health authorities and focus on good hygiene practices as the best preventative measure,” RA’s chief medical officer Warren McDonald said.

“We are being guided by the advice from the authorities and have taken some additional steps with regards to the monitoring of players and staff within our organisations and will continue to communicate the latest developments and make information available to those within our community.”

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Impact on sporting leagues, sports events cancelled, COVID-19 news, 10 positive tests in Serie A, Lionel Messi

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Sport at local, national and international level has been hit by more disruptions because of the coronavirus.

Some of the world’s biggest competitions have been forced to temporarily shut down as the planet tries to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Here’s a look at the latest developments, with a full list of sports impacted at the bottom of this article.

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3PM – A-LEAGUE UNDER THREAT

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of strict border restrictions on Sunday will throw the A-League under even more pressure to suspend or cancel the remainder of the season.

Wellington Phoenix, who host Melbourne Victory on Sunday afternoon at Sky Stadium, are already expected to shift all home games to Australia following this round.

But PM Morrison’s announcement that all arrivals into Australia (from midnight tonight) would be forced to self-isolate for 14 days would force the cancellation of at least four A-League games – unless both Wellington and Melbourne Victory can make it back to Australia before the new rules begin.

Those matches are Wellington’s clash with Sydney FC on Wednesday and with Newcastle Jets on Sunday the 22nd, as well as Melbourne Victory’s home match with Brisbane Roar next Sunday (22nd) and away to Perth Glory the following Sunday (29th).

The Wellington v Victory match is expected to go ahead as scheduled, with an FFA announcement on the future of the competition anticipated for late Sunday night or early Monday.

SUNDAY 10:15AM – AFL CLUBS ASKING FANS TO KEEP BACKING THEM

The AFL is still planning on opening its season next Thursday, but Melbourne has become the latest club to ask its fans to keep supporting them through the coronavirus pandemic.

With clubs heavily supported by memberships, an open letter from the Demons’ chairman and CEO, Glen Bartlett and Gary Pert, have asked their fans to keep the faith through a tough period.

“As you are aware, an enormous amount of work has gone into our club to set ourselves up to challenge for the ultimate prize in the coming years,” the letter said.

“What will be so very important during these times is your continued loyalty, support and commitment to the club and the players we all love.

“What we would like to ask is for you to maintain your loyalty, to support us like never before and to retain your membership, while encouraging others to do so. The harsh reality is that we really need your support during this time of significant financial challenge.”

The AFL is said to be considering plans including having teams playing multiple games a week and shortening games in order to fit the full season in.

SUNDAY 9:30AM – SHEFFIELD SHIELD’S FINAL ROUND CANCELLED

Another domino has fallen on the cricket field, as Cricket Australia respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The final round of the Sheffield Shield has been called off, with a decision to be made on the final in due course.

It comes after the cancellation of the Australia vs New Zealand series.

The Sheffield Shield has called off its final round. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)Source: AAP

SUNDAY 6AM – SERIE A OUTBREAK INCREASES AS MORE SPORTS HALT

Sampdoria midfielder Fabio Depaoli has announced he’s tested positive for COVID-19.

He’s the 10th Serie A player confirmed positive and the sixth at Sampdoria. While Sampdoria said in a statement earlier Saturday that it would not announce any more updates about its players “to avoid news leaks and useless alarmism” since “all the lads are well,” Depaoli revealed his positive test on social media.

Depaoli writes in Italian on Instagram, “Unfortunately I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. But I want to reassure you that I’m OK! This invisible monster is hitting us indiscriminately, but by adopting the correct measures and following medical advice, we can win our biggest match and return stronger than before.”

The five other Sampdoria players who tested positive are: Manolo Gabbiadini, Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina and Morten Thorsby. The other Serie A players who tested positive are Daniele Rugani at Juventus and Fiorentina teammates Dusan Vlahovic, German Pezzella and Patrick Cutrone.

Lionel Messi has joined a call in Spain by sports figures, who are supporting a public awareness campaign by government authorities and healthcare workers asking the nation’s population to remain indoors to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

“It is the moment to act responsibly and to stay home,” Messi wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

The Barcelona star added: “We are worried by what is happening and we want to help by putting ourselves in the place of those who are having the most difficulties, either because they or their families or friends are directly affected, or because they are working on the frontline in hospitals.”

Spain is tightening controls on movement and closing shops as it struggles to stem a peak in virus infections that has surpassed 5,000 people.

Meanwhile NFL clubs have been instructed to avoid all in-person contact with prospects ahead of next month’s NFL draft, according to a posting on the league’s web site.

In a memo to all 32 teams, the league instructed clubs to stop visits to team facilities by prospects as of Friday.

– AP, AFP

The situation for the NRL’s Warriors remains unclear. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

SATURDAY 5PM – NZ TRAVEL BAN TO CAUSE CHAOS

The NRL, A-League and Super Rugby seasons have been put in major doubt after New Zealand announced a travel ban, effective from midnight on Sunday.

Following this round of A-League, Wellington Phoenix will be based in Australia.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg will address the media later this evening.

Every person entering NZ from after this weekend will be required to enter self-isolation, with only the Pacific exempted from the measure.

The Warriors could therefore be forced to remain in Australia, according to Channel 9’s Danny Weidler.

The Warriors are due to host the Raiders in a double header with Super Rugby side the Blues taking on the Brumbies in Auckland next Saturday.

“I’ve had a number of discussions with the NRL this afternoon to discuss which options are available to us,” said Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“Obviously that’s going to create some significant challenges for opposing teams to come to

New Zealand.

“We’re very conscious of the families, the boys involved, everyone has different circumstances.

“The most important thing for the fans and the game is we try to keep the competition going.”

SATURDAY 3PM – ARLC COMMISSION TO DISCUSS CONTINGENCY PLANS

The Australian Rugby League Commission will hold a 5pm phone hook-up on Saturday to discuss contingency plans on how rugby league can best handle the Coronavirus crisis.

ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys has confirmed the NRL will explore every possible option to keep the new season rolling despite other sports around the world being forced to postpone competitions.

One scenario being strongly pushed is staging a “Magic Month” of NRL games which would involve players all being tested and then quarantined from the Coronavirus.

All NRL games could then be played out of one stadium with Brisbane and Townsville both being discussed as options.

However this plan may have been ruined by the news of required self-isolation for all visitors to New Zealand, effective Sunday at midnight.

The ARLC and the NRL executives’ priority right now is to keep the new season up and running while taking every precaution possible to ensure player welfare.

SATURDAY 1:30PM – MATILDAS’ OLYMPIC PREPARATIONS UP IN THE AIR

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today confirmed that the international friendly between the Matildas and world No.8 Canada, scheduled for April 14 in Vancouver, BC, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

FFA and Canada Soccer have been in regular discussions regarding the fixture, and in light of developments in both Australia and Canada over the past days, the decision has been made to cancel the game.

It’s another blow for Ante Milicic’s Tokyo Olympics preparations after the match against the reigning, and four-time, world champion USA on April 10 in Sandy, Utah was scrapped earlier this week.

– AAP

SATURDAY 10AM — MORRISON CANCELS TRIP TO SHARKS GAME

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison initially insisted that he would still go to Saturday evening’s Sharks vs Rabbitohs game — despite just announcing a ban on non-essential mass gatherings — but changed his tune after severe backlash.

“After further consideration and the potential for the prime minister’s attendance to be misrepresented, the prime minister has chosen not to attend the match this weekend,” a spokesman said late Friday night.

Anthony Albanese, the Opposition Leader who’s an avid Rabbitohs supporter, also decided not to attend the same match.

SATURDAY 9AM — CRICKET FIXTURES FALL LIKE DOMINOES

Hours after the Indian Premier League was postponed, several tours across the globe were also placed on hold due to ongoing concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

England’s tour of Sri Lanka, South Africa’s of India and Australia women’s of South Africa were among those to be postponed on Friday night.

England captain Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood as the tour match with the SLC Board President’s XI was abandoned. Picture: Gareth CopleySource: Getty Images

England was playing a four-day tour match when, at the request of its cricket board, had its tour of Sri Lanka called off during play.

The first Test in Galle was scheduled to start on March 19, however, it’s understood the intention is for the series to be rescheduled instead

FULL STORY HERE

SATURDAY 7AM — MASTERS POSTPONED

After the prestigious Players Championship was cancelled, the annual Masters tournament has now been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Augusta National Golf Club has announced the 2020 Masters will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

At this stage, no future date has been given.

August National chairman Fred Ridley says he hopes postponing the event puts Augusta National in the best position to host the Masters and its other two events at some later date. Picture: Tim DominickSource: AP

The Masters had been scheduled for April 9-12.

“Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals,” Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley wrote in a statement.

“Ultimately, the health and wellbeing of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.”

SATURDAY MIDNIGHT — PREMIER LEAGUE SUSPENDED

The Premier League and the Champions League have been suspended.

The French and German leagues also dropped plans to play this weekend, placing all five of Europe’s biggest national competitions on hold.

Men’s Olympic qualifying also was suspended in soccer’s North and Central American and Caribbean region.

CORONAVIRUS REPERCUSSIONS: European football has been thrown into chaos

FRIDAY — THE AUSSIE CODES

Australian sporting codes are shutting out fans after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the Formula One Grand Prix and other events.

The NRL will stage games from next weekend in empty stadiums after the federal government announced a ban on non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people, effective Monday.

The AFL’s men’s and women’s competitions will also be held with no fans attending.

Basketball authorities closed the NBL’s grand final series to spectators from Friday night’s game two. Andrew Bogut put on a first-half masterclass to inspire the Sydney Kings to a 97-83 victory over the Perth Wildcats.

Rugby union’s Super Rugby games in Australia will follow suit from next weekend while swimming’s hierarchy called off next month’s national championships.

Australia’s men’s cricket team began a one-day international against New Zealand in an empty Sydney arena on Friday, hours after the Australian Grand Prix became the first sporting event in the country cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Organisers stopped the season opener while spectators were queuing to enter Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit, their call coming after 14 people linked to the Grand Prix were tested – one, a McLaren team member, returning a positive.

Supercars races were also cancelled, while Super Netball’s pre-season tournament later this month was scrapped.

Australian sports had no choice but to follow leagues around the world in holding games without spectators or suspending competition after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the ban on non-essential mass gatherings.

— with AAP and AFP

FULL LIST: The sports impacted by coronavirus (as of Saturday March 14)

AFL: Will still play games, but no crowds for Round 1

AFLW: Will still play games, but no crowds from Saturday March 14 onwards

BASKETBALL

– NBL: Will still play grand final games, but no crowds

– NBA: Suspended

– NCAA tournaments (men’s and women’s): Cancelled

CRICKET

– Australia v New Zealand men’s ODI series: Will still play games, but no crowds

– South Africa v Australia women’s ODI series: Cancelled

– England’s tour of Sri Lanka: Postponed

– South Africa’s tour of India: Called off

– IPL: Postponed

– Pakistan Super League: Taken four days off its schedule

– Sheffield Shield: Final round cancelled

CYCLING

– Giro d’Italia: Postponed

FOOTBALL

– A-League: Matches for this weekend to “proceed as planned”

– English Premier League (and most European leagues): Postponed

GOLF

– The Masters: Postponed

– PGA Tour: Postponed

– LPGA Tour: Postponed

HORSE RACING: Most meets to continue but no crowds

MLB: Opening Day postponed for two weeks

MOTORSPORT

– Formula 1 (including next two events): Postponed

– MotoGP: Suspended

– Supercars: To be confirmed

– NASCAR: Racing to continue, but no crowds

NHL: Season suspended

NRL: Business as usual for Round 1, but will play on with no crowds from Round 2 onwards

SIX NATIONS: Match this weekend postponed

SUPER RUGBY: Season postponed

SURFING (WSL): Postponed

SWIMMING

– Australian Swimming Championships: Suspended

TENNIS

– ATP Tour: Postponed

– WTA Tour: Some events have been postponed

UFC: Going ahead (”fight on” says Dana White) without fans

WWE: Live events moved to ‘Performance Centre’ training base without fans, WrestleMania status unclear

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