The Black Caps' season has ended early after the squad pulled out of the remaining Chappell-Hadlee Trophy one-dayers against Australia.
The New Zealand Government's announcement of new border restrictions – including mandatory 14-day self-isolation periods for everyone entering New Zealand from Australia – has seen the Black Caps fly home from Sydney this evening, having played just one of their three scheduled ODIs.
The development also means that the three-match Twenty20 series, set to be held in New Zealand at the end of the month, has been called off, as the mandatory self-isolation period would also apply to the Australian squad as soon as it crossed the border into New Zealand.
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The new border restriction is to come into effect tomorrow at midnight, leaving the Black Caps to return to New Zealand before the restriction is imposed, and therefore withdrawing from the second ODI in Sydney tomorrow, and the final match in Hobart on Friday.
While the one-dayers technically still could have gone ahead, completing the series would have significantly impacted the players' personal lives - and that of their families - on their return.
New Zealand Cricket said in a statement that they believe the series can be replayed in their entirety at a later date, and supported the decision.
"NZC understands and supports the government's position. This is a time of unprecedented risk and peril, and the personal health and well-being of our players is paramount."
The Black Caps had already undergone their own coronavirus scare the night before, with star seamer Lockie Ferguson has been placed in isolation after his side's opening ODI defeat.
Ferguson reported a sore throat at the end of the first ODI, and the fast bowler was immediately placed in isolation due to fears of the coronavirus outbreak which has seen sport in Australia either cancelled or moved behind closed doors.
The latter option was chosen for the Black Caps' 71-run defeat to Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in which Ferguson took 2-60 in his nine overs before making one off seven balls in New Zealand's innings, before reporting a sore throat at the conclusion of the match.
New Zealand Cricket confirmed that Ferguson had been placed in isolation at the team hotel for 24 hours - "in accordance with recommended health protocols" - and tested for COVID-19.
That test came back negative, with Ferguson set to return to New Zealand tomorrow morning.
Earlier, Australian bowler Kane Richardson was also tested for the coronavirus, having reported a mild sore throat on Thursday, promoting Cricket Australia to take action and remove him from the squad. However, the test came back negative.
Ferguson's isolation continues his tough times in Australia. On his ODI debut in Sydney, a nervous preparation went awry, with the speedster suffering from cramps as he leaked 73 runs from nine overs. Then, on test debut in Perth last year, Ferguson's tour ended after 11 wicketless overs, hobbling off with a calf injury.
Similarly, it was a miserable return to Sydney for the Black Caps, who in their last visit had four players go down ill, with three of them - Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner and Henry Nicholls - missing the third and final test.
While that trio all played on Friday, it didn't change the result, with the Black Caps' losing streak in Australia - which stretches back to 2011 across all formats – continuing. Now, they won't have a chance to end it.