Due to fears regarding coronavirus pandemic, the first ODI between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney was played behind closed doors at Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday in order to discourage large gatherings. The two teams played out the encounter with no fans at the stands. With no fans presence, New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson had to trespass the boundary ropes and enter the empty stadiums in order to fetch a ball when Australia captain Aaron Finch struck a six.
The moment took place in the 18th over when Ish Sodhi came into the attack. In the first ball of his over, which was an attempted googly from the spinner, Finch stepped back inside his crease and pumped it into the cow corner for the maximum.
Good arm, Lockie! #AUSvNZpic.twitter.com/xY7QtF5UGf— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 13, 2020
With no one at the stands to send the ball back to the fielders, Ferguson had to climb the empty stands himself to retrieve the ball. Seeing the moment, the social media users were quick to point out the importance of spectators in a cricket match.
Realising the value of spectators ?— Minty (@MickyMick17) March 13, 2020
How bizarre.. The value of spectator— राहुल पटेल🇮🇳 Rahul Patel🇮🇳 (@RAHULPA461) March 13, 2020
Jo maarega wohi layega, anyone? https://t.co/JbPEKHwbnC— Cricketopia (@CricketopiaCom) March 13, 2020
Just got my answer. Well fetched, Lockie Ferguson! https://t.co/xz7LShJsjk— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) March 13, 2020
New Zealand spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi helped restrict Australia to 258 for seven in the first one-day international in the eerie setting of an empty Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. Cricket Australia barred spectators from the match in response the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the strange sight of players acknowledging milestones to empty grandstands.
After Australian skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and chose to bat, the home side were at one stage looking at a score in excess of 300 following a superb opening partnership from Finch and David Warner.
But once Warner (67) and Finch (60) were dismissed, the Australian innings lost momentum and New Zealand clawed their way back into the game, despite a late flourish from Marnus Labuschagne, who made 56 from just 52 deliveries.
(With inputs from AFP)