And cricket takes yet another blow from the coronavirus pandemic as Australia's scheduled tour of Bangladesh has been postponed. The news was confirmed by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday.
The Aussies were set to travel to Bangladesh in June to play a couple of Tests which were set to be part of the World Test Championship (WTC).
This is the second series included in the WTC to be postponed after England had to fly back home from Sri Lanka in March. Also, this is Bangladesh's second series to be postponed as the Tigers saw their series at Ireland being postponed earlier.
BCB CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said that the decision was disappointing for the players and the fans but it was necessary considering the global situation.
"This is understandably disappointing for players and fans of both sides. However, in the current global scenario of the Covid-19 outbreak and considering the nature of the health emergency, the BCB and CA are in agreement that this is the most sensible and practical decision. We hope that the situation will improve soon and we are able to hold this series at a convenient time in the near future. To that end, the BCB will continue to work closely with CA with whom we share a history of support and cooperation," Mr Chowdhury said.
"Postponing the tour is regrettable, but I would like to thank the Bangladesh Cricket Board for the open, honest and responsible discussions that led us to this mutually-agreed position," Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts said.
He added, "The health of our people and communities is the number one priority for both boards and that is reflected in the action we have taken in postponing the two Test matches. As we know, the global cricket calendar is very busy but we will do everything we can to honour our commitment to Bangladesh and will continue to work with the BCB on an agreed date."
Australian Test skipper Tim Paine had hinted 10 days back that this tour was unlikely to go on because of the global pandemic.
The challenge for both the boards will now be to find a suitable window to play out the series, once the situation returns to normal. The two Tests were scheduled to be played from 11th and 19th June at Chattogram and Dhaka respectively.
The last time Australia toured Bangladesh was in 2017 where Steve Smith's men were held to a 1-1 draw in the Test series as Bangladesh marked their first victory against the Aussies.
The coronavirus situation has continued to take its turn towards worse throughout the world as 1,484,811 people have been infected throughout the world with 88,538 dead. The situation in Bangladesh went south on Thursday as 112 new coronavirus patients were detected as the total number reached 330 with 21 dead.