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.

India's remaining two ODIs against South Africa have been postponed as the spread of coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar across the world.

The first ODI on Thursday was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Dharamsala due to bad weather.

And the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Friday the meetings in Lucknow on Sunday and Kolkata on March 18 - both scheduled to be played behind closed doors - will not go ahead as the COVID-19 threat grows.

South Africa will now visit India at a later date to play a three-match series.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed on Friday the IPL, due to get underway on March 29, will now begin on April 15.

There have been more than 80 confirmed cases of coronavirus in India, resulting in one death.

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.

Australia captain Meg Lanning praised her team for coming through "tough times" to emphatically win the Women's T20 World Cup on home soil.

Alyssa Healy smashed 75 from 39 balls and opening partner Beth Mooney top-scored with an unbeaten 78 as Australia posted 184-4 in Melbourne, a total that proved well beyond India's reach as they were all out for 99 in reply.

However, while they triumphed by the huge margin of 85 runs in the final, it had not always been plain sailing for Lanning and her squad during the tournament.

They lost to India in their opening match in the group stage and, already without Tayla Vlaeminck due to a fractured foot, were dealt a further blow when Ellyse Perry suffered a hamstring injury against New Zealand.

The duo were still present for the victory over India on Sunday, taking part in the celebrations after Australia were crowned champions for a fifth time in front of a crowd of 86,174 - a new record for a women's cricket match and a female sporting event in Australia.

"I'm just really proud of this group of players and staff," Lanning said at the presentation ceremony.

"We've had everything thrown at us, ups and downs. It was tough, definitely, especially after we lost that first game. There was a lot of expectation on us, inside and out.

"There were definitely some tough times in there, but we stuck with each other, had each other's backs.

"Coming in they [the injured players] were a big part of our plans, we had to go to plan B and C.

"It's been massive, 86,000 people at the MCG, I've never seen it before and didn't think I'd be part of it in the middle."

India were left to rue missed opportunities in the field - Healy was dropped by Shafali Verma in the first over, while they also put down a chance off Mooney during a pivotal 115-run opening stand.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur hopes her players will learn from the experience after reaching the final of the T20 event for the first time.

"We need to focus, especially in fielding," she said. "But I trust this team. It's part of the game, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You have to keep learning. 

"If we talk about the last T20 World Cup, we got to the semi-finals, and this time to the final. I think we're on the right path.

"Every year we are improving. We just need to think of how we play with focus in the main games. Sometimes we don't manage that."

Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney starred with the bat as Australia eased to an 85-run victory over India in the Women's T20 World Cup final on Sunday.

A crowd of 86,174 – a record for a women's cricket match – witnessed the tournament hosts dominate throughout at the famous MCG.

Australia posted 184-4 after opting to bat first, Mooney top-scoring with an unbeaten 78 from 54 deliveries.

However, it was opening partner Healy who stole the show, capitalising on an early life - she was dropped by Shafali Verma in the first over - to hit the fastest half-century in an ICC final.

Watched by husband Mitchell Starc, who was given permission to leave Australia's tour of South Africa early to be at the game, Healy needed just 39 balls to smash 75.

The right-hander hit seven fours and five sixes - including three in a row during an over from Shikha Pandey - before she was eventually caught at long on, ending a first-wicket stand worth 115 with Mooney.

Chasing such a daunting target, India stumbled out of the blocks. The big-hitting Verma fell to the third ball of their reply, caught behind by wicketkeeper Healy off the bowling of Megan Schutt.

Taniya Bhatia had to retire hurt due to concussion before Jemimah Rodrigues was caught at mid on, leaving the score at 8-2 at the end of the second over.

Deepti Sharma was the only player to provide any real resistance with 33, Schutt finishing with figures of 4-18 as India were bowled out for 99 with five balls remaining.

Despite the absences of Tayla Vlaeminck and Ellyse Perry, who both suffered injuries in the group stage, Australia were crowned T20 champions for a fifth time, albeit this is their first title on home soil.

Australia will defend their Women's T20 World Cup title in the final against India after defeating South Africa in a rain-affected match at the SCG.

The hosts and reigning champions posted 134-5 in a match at first delayed and then truncated by rain, with the earlier semi-final between England and India having been a washout.

While Australia were able to bat their full allocation, their opponents were limited to 13 overs and required 98 runs.

However, they were only able to reach 92-5 as Australia won by five runs, with maiden finalists India up next in Melbourne on Sunday.

Captain Meg Lanning led by example with an unbeaten 49, while disciplined bowling from Megan Schutt (2-17 off three overs) helped to limit a South Africa side for whom Laura Wolvaardt top-scored on 41.

India progressed to their first Women's T20 World Cup decider after rain ruined the semi-final as England were sent home without taking to the field.

Thursday's first semi-final was abandoned due to rain in Sydney, with India automatically qualifying for Sunday's showpiece in Melbourne as Group A winners.

Play was meant to start at 15:00 local time at the SCG before persistent rain forced the final-four clash to be called off at 16:08.

India – three-time semi-finalists – will face either South Africa or hosts Australia in the T20 final.

Thursday's second semi-final is also in doubt amid the wet weather, with Group B winners Proteas set to advance should it be washed out.

Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen have been recalled to South Africa's ODI squad for the series with India, for which George Linde has received his maiden limited-overs call-up.

Du Plessis and Van der Dussen were both involved in the T20 series with Australia but were rested for the ongoing ODI series, which South Africa lead 1-0.

However, they will feature in a three-match series in India, which starts in Dharamsala on March 12.

Also included is left-arm spinner Linde, whose only previous international appearance came in the third Test against India last year in Ranchi, where South Africa lost by an innings and 202 runs.

Linde took 4-133 in that heavy defeat, and has 86 wickets in his list A career at an average of 28.95.

Kyle Verreynne, whose 48 off 64 balls helped the Proteas beat Australia in the first ODI, keeps his place in the squad. Tabraiz Shamsi is unavailable for selection as he and his wife are expecting the birth of their first child.

"It is exciting to see the amount of competition for spots that we have within the team and in the franchises, it's a good headache for us as selectors to have," Linda Zondi, CSA's independent selector, said. 

"We are satisfied with our picks for what will certainly be a challenging tour of India. We saw some promising performances last year from the T20 squad that travelled there and we wanted to give a player like George Linde another crack at the conditions which seemed to really suit him. 

"We are also particularly pleased with the balance of youth and experience that we have achieved while our young leadership group continues to establish itself. We are looking forward to some good performances in this relatively short tour."

 


South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.  

Virat Kohli lamented India's batting after their Test series loss to New Zealand, while paying tribute to the Black Caps.

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series win over India on Monday thanks to a seven-wicket victory in Christchurch.

India struggled with the bat throughout the series, posting scores of 165 and 191 in the first Test in Wellington and 242 and 124 at Hagley Oval.

Kohli praised New Zealand's bowlers and rued his side's batting after their series defeat.

"It was a matter of not having enough intent in the first game and then playing well in the first innings here but then again the small things, small margins," the India captain told Sky Sport.

"When you sit down and look back at this series you have to also give credit to the New Zealand bowlers because they bowled in the right areas for long enough, created a lot of pressure. There were hardly any scoring opportunities so that meant you had to play extravagant shots to get runs rather than just rotating strike and getting runs easily.

"It was a combination of us not quite having the right kind of execution and New Zealand playing really well in their conditions and I think the bowling and the consistency was outstanding and that's something that forced our batting to make those mistakes.

"We're usually a batting side that does show a bit of fight and put up scores on the board, but there was just not enough done by the batsmen in the series for the bowlers to try and attack."

After ripping through the India lower-order to begin day three in Christchurch, New Zealand were untroubled on the way to their target of 132 for victory.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was happy with his team and said their ability to combine for small but vital partnerships was crucial.

"Outstanding," he said. "Both fairly sporting surfaces where bowlers had to put the ball in the right area, but if you did you created opportunities throughout every day of this game which was surprising. History suggests that it does a bit initially and then flattens out.

"I guess therein lies the value in a lot of those partnerships that we had with the bat, those 30s and 40s that were huge out there on that surface.

"I don't think the end result reflected how perhaps tight that match was because as we saw in both innings the ball going past the outside of the bat and it is such a fine line, but a fantastic series from our side in terms of the balance with the bat and the ball and the way the guys stuck at it.

"As we know, it is a fine line and India are a world-class side, top of the comp [ICC World Test Championship], so a great effort from the guys."

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series victory over India with a seven-wicket win in the second Test in Christchurch on Monday.

India set the Black Caps just 132 to win on day three and the hosts had no troubles reaching their target at Hagley Oval.

After 16 wickets incredibly fell on Sunday, India needed a response to begin day three, but they added just 34 runs after resuming at 90-6.

Tom Latham (52) and Tom Blundell (55) ensured New Zealand cruised through their chase to win the series 2-0.

Hanuma Vihari (9) was the first to go on Monday, caught down the leg side by BJ Watling off Tim Southee (3-36).

India were unable to get anything going, although Ravindra Jadeja did manage an unbeaten 16 off just 22 balls.

Trent Boult (4-28) added the wicket of Rishabh Pant (4) and Southee also removed Mohammed Shami (5) before Jasprit Bumrah (4) was run out.

While India's bowlers caused some initial problems to Latham and Blundell, the openers set up what proved a comfortable chase for the Black Caps.

Latham fell to Umesh Yadav (1-45) and Kane Williamson (5) went off Bumrah, who bowled Blundell to finish with 2-39 before Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls helped New Zealand see out their victory.

South Africa claimed victory in the first ODI with Australia after producing a disciplined bowling display to back up Heinrich Klaasen's eye-catching century at Boland Park on Saturday.

In the first meeting of a three-match series, it was the Proteas who impressed to triumph by 74 runs, Klaasen's unbeaten 123 proving key, while Lungi Ngidi (3-30) was clinical with the ball.

The victory came despite a sluggish start from the hosts, who were reduced to 48-3, with newcomer Janneman Malan among the victims as he was out for a golden duck.

But another debutant shone far more brightly, Kyle Verreynne's handy contribution of 48 – along with David Miller's 64 and Klaasen's heroics – helping South Africa to 291-7.

Even in the absence of influential paceman Kagiso Rabada, out with a groin strain suffered in the T20 series, the home side applied pressure with the ball to limit Australia's response and seal victory in the 46th over.

Malan fell first ball to Mitchell Starc, given out lbw on review, and captain Quinton de Kock was out tamely for 15 when he nicked one into the gloves of Alex Carey off Josh Hazlewood.

Temba Bavuma dragged on from Pat Cummins to leave South Africa in real trouble before Verreynne and Klaasen's 78-run stand stirred a revival.

Klaasen, who racked up a maiden international hundred, combined just as effectively with Miller after Verreynne was caught at square leg by Marsh, the newly minted partnership adding a decisive 149 runs.

With a sizeable target to chase, the tourists struggled to get going, although Steve Smith's 76 did raise hopes of making it a competitive contest after openers David Warner (25) and Aaron Finch (10) had been dismissed by Ngidi.

When Smith was trapped lbw by Anrich Nortje in the 35th over, Australia were running out of overs and wickets, requiring 118 runs from 96 balls.

Carey's five from 16 deliveries was decidedly unhelpful, but he was not the only one to come up short on a day when Australia simply failed to fire, finishing 217 all out.

Kyle Jamieson savoured claiming a maiden five-wicket Test haul with his family watching on as New Zealand put India on the back foot at Hagley Oval.

Jamieson kept his place after an impressive debut in the longest format as the Black Caps hammered India to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.

The seamer again justified his selection on day one in Christchurch, taking 5-45 to dismiss the tourists for 242 before New Zealand closed on 63-0 in reply.

India crumbled from 194-4, Jamieson removing Cheteshwar Pujara (55) and ripping through the lower order before Trent Boult cleaned up Mohammed Shami to end the innings.

Former Canterbury man Jamieson reflected on a job well done at a ground that holds a special place in his heart.

He said: "They're [Jamieson's family, who he waved to with the ball] so much a part of this journey – to have them here and to witness this moment was pretty special.

"I was certainly very comfortable coming back out here, the run-ups and the pitch felt pretty normal. It was massive part of my career, and nice to come back home.

"At one stage I thought they were going to get a few more, it wasn't quite doing as much as what it did in Wellington, so to keep them to 242 is pretty good."

Prithvi Shaw (54) and Hanuma Vihari (55) also made half-centuries before India collapsed, with Tom Latham (27 not out) and Tom Blundell (29no) ensuring it was very much New Zealand's day.

Kyle Jamieson's maiden Test five-for triggered an India collapse as New Zealand made a strong start to the second and final Test on Saturday.

Jamieson tore through India, who went from 194-5 to 242 all out in a remarkable tea session on day one in Christchurch, with figures of 5-45 in 14 overs.

New Zealand reached stumps at 63-0, trailing by 179 runs, thanks to openers Tom Lathan (27 not out) and Tom Blundell (29 not out) at Hagley Oval.

Rain delayed the start of play in New Zealand, where ICC's top-ranked Test side India were looking to bounce back from their crushing defeat against the Black Caps in Wellington.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first, and it proved a wise decision when Trent Boult (2-89) trapped Mayank Agarwal lbw for seven after India made it through six overs unscathed.

The Black Caps' bowling attack did not have it all their own way – highly rated opener Prithvi Shaw showing intent early on as he kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Shaw scored 54 runs from just 64 deliveries before he fell victim to Jamieson – who claimed 4-39 in the first innings of the opening Test against India on his debut – prior to lunch, Latham's stunning catch at second slip ending a promising knock.

Tim Southee (2-38) then took the prized scalp of struggling India skipper Virat Kohli (3) shortly after lunch as the tourists fell to 85-3.

Only two other wickets fell in the middle session – Ajinkya Rahane (7) and Hanuma Vihari (55) via Southee and Neil Wagner (1-29) – as India looked relatively comfortable heading into the tea break.

But it all fell apart for India in the final session as Jamieson cleaned up the visitors with four wickets in a stunning spell, which saw Kohli's side crumble for 48-5.

Cheteshwar Pujara (54), Rishabh Pant (12), Umesh Yadav (0) and Ravindra Jadeja (9) were dismissed by Jamieson, while Boult ripped out Mohammed Shami's off stump.

Latham and Blundell then saw New Zealand through to the end of play without loss amid fading light after 23 overs.

Kagiso Rabada will miss not only South Africa's one-dayers against Australia on home soil but also the upcoming tour to India due to a groin strain.

Paceman Rabada suffered the injury during the Twenty20 series with Australia, which concluded on Wednesday at Newlands in Cape Town, and underwent an MRI scan to assess the extent of the problem.

The 24-year-old will be sidelined for a month, according to a statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on the eve of the first ODI in Paarl.

After hosting Australia, the Proteas travel to India for three 50-over fixtures, starting in Dharamsala on March 12.

"The significant injury means that he will take approximately four weeks to heal, which effectively rules him out of both the Australia and India ODI series," said Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA's chief medical officer.

"The CSA medical staff will ensure his effective and expeditious recovery."

Rabada was rested for the limited-overs games against England earlier this year but returned to face Australia, picking up two wickets in his three appearances as the tourists won the T20 series by a 2-1 scoreline.

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