15 Mar 2020

Black Caps' Ferguson cleared of coronavirus as series cut short

7:33 am on 15 March 2020

Black Caps' fast bowler Lockie Ferguson will return home to New Zealand today after he was cleared of the coronavirus.

Black Caps Lockie Ferguson bowling.

Lockie Ferguson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ferguson had been in quarantine at the team hotel in Sydney after complaining of a sore throat.

He had tests done and they've come back negative for the virus.

The Chappell-Hadlee ODI cricket series between New Zealand and Australia has been postponed, and the bulk of the Black Caps squad flew home on Saturday night.

On Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced new border restrictions to deal with the Covid 19 outbreak.

The rule that anyone entering New Zealand will have to self isolate for 14 days means the Black Caps had to return home before the restriction took effect, and could not contest matches in Sydney tomorrow or Hobart on Friday.

A three-match Twenty20 series scheduled in New Zealand against Australia, beginning in Dunedin on March 24, has also been postponed.

New Zealand Cricket said it believed both series could be replayed in their entirety later this year.

"NZC understands and supports the government's position," NZC said in a statement.

"This is a time of unprecedented risk and peril, and the personal health and well-being of our players is paramount."

NZC chief executive David White said the organisation had been in close contact with the government and health authorities for some time.

"I wouldn't say we've expected it, but it's fair to say over the last three or four days there's been a lot going on with professional sport around the world," he said.

"We did build a number of contingencies like having flights available for players to return on different days. We've looked at different sceanrios but this is clearly an unprecedented situation and surprised everyone really."

Black Caps fast bowler Lockie Ferguson is in quarantine after suffering a sore throat following Friday's 71-run loss in the opening one-dayer.

The seamer has been tested and is isolated at the Black Caps team hotel while awaiting test results.

White said while the majority of the squad was returning to New Zealand this evening, Ferguson and manager Mike Sandle would be flying back tomorrow once given the all-clear.