New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has agreed to a "big" cut in his salary during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foster confirmed he and his fellow coaches have already reached an agreement with New Zealand Rugby, while discussions with players are also at an advanced stage.

"Our coaching group has definitely taken a big cut," Foster said to Newstalk ZB.

"That's already been agreed to - with rugby when there's no games, there's no revenue, and that's a tough thing. There's been a lot of shaving of the programmes inside and what it's also come down to is cutting.

"It's a different sort of process for players but I know they're willing to go into that space too.

"Theirs is a more complex [situation] - but it's a given and they understand that. It's just a matter of working it through so all the different levels of players are dealt with fairly.

"I haven't heard one player yet who doesn't accept that it's going to happen. There's a real willingness of those involved in the game to get behind this and do whatever it takes to make sure [the game] survives."

Foster believes the three home Test matches scheduled for July, two against Wales and another against Scotland, are unlikely to go ahead.

He wants the All Blacks players to maintain a base level of fitness, though conceded a "short period" would still be needed after the lockdown to up their levels to full match readiness.

"If you look at the probability, there's a reasonably good chance that international travel and borders won't be down across the world at that point, so in that case the All Blacks won't be playing in July,” he added.

"[If we keep players at peak fitness] they'll just blow out mentally and get really frustrated with that because there’s so much uncertainty.

"We want the players to settle down then we'll start expecting fitness levels to be at a certain point that when the lockdown finishes and we do start to think about a starting point for rugby again."

March 28 was the day when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went from the interim manager to Manchester United's permanent boss.

It was also the date that the Colts upped sticks and made the stunning move from Baltimore to relocate to Indianapolis.

March 28 remains a day of one of cricket's most significant milestones as well.

We take a closer look at what happened on this day in sports.

 

1955 - New Zealand all out for 26

The lowest Test score in history - recorded by the home side in Auckland - may never be broken.

New Zealand, who, at that point had not won a match in the longest format in the 24 years since they were granted Test status, were skittled out inside 27 overs against England.

Four batsmen were dismissed without scoring, another three having made only a single.

New Zealand's innings lasted just one hour, 40 minutes and they fell to an innnings-and-20-run loss to the tourists.

1984 - The Colts head to Indy

It is one of the most famous, and shocking, stories in NFL history.

Fifteen trucks turned up at the Baltimore Colts' Owing Mills facility under the cover of darkness, packed up the team's belongings and headed for Indianapolis.

Baltimore city officials had already passed legislation that would allow them to seize control of the Colts but, once the trucks left the state of Maryland, that did not matter.

The Colts remain Indianapolis' team today while Baltimore had to wait until 1996 before being awarded another NFL franchise - the Ravens.

2019 - Solskjaer appointed on a permanent basis

Exactly one year ago, United responded to their first back-to-back losses under interim boss Solskjaer by making the Norwegian's arrangement permanent and handing him a three-year contract.

United had previously won their first eight games in a row under Solskjaer and beat Paris Saint-Germain in France in March to advance in the Champions League.

"This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I'm beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long term," Solskjaer said of his appointment.

Dane Coles is prepared to take a pay cut and hopes other players will also undergo a financial hit during the coronavirus crisis to help ease the burden on New Zealand Rugby.

The Super Rugby season was suspended last week and plans for an alternative domestic competition have been put on hold amid the global pandemic.

New Zealand Rugby is set to be given financial assistance from the government during such unprecedented times.

All Blacks and Hurricanes hooker Coles says the players must also play a part.

"It's inevitable [that a pay cut will be required] and that's totally understandable considering what's going on in New Zealand," he told the New Zealand Herald.

"Rugby players in New Zealand might have to prepare for that but that's just my opinion. You don't want New Zealand Rugby to go under, it would be a bad thing.

"So hopefully the rugby players around New Zealand can do their part."

Coles backed the decision not to start up an alternative competition.

"We were always keen to do something but we were never going to risk the lives of people and we weren't going to do it without the government giving it the okay. That was the main priority we spoke about." he added.

"After what's come out, I don't think we'll be getting together again too soon. Which is fair enough. At the end of the day it's just rugby and there's more to life at the moment to worry about, so we'll just take it as it comes."

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson is confident the organisation has the cash reserves to cope with the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Super Rugby was suspended for two weeks after New Zealand tightened its borders in response to the proliferation of COVID-19, with prime minister Jacinda Arden announcing on Thursday only citizens and residents would be permitted access.

It has been suggested teams from each of Super Rugby's participating nations could play derbies to enable to competition to continue, though such a plan is yet to be announced.

With teams facing huge losses in revenue, Robinson suggested New Zealand Rugby are in a position where they can help teams bear the brunt of the damage.

"We're working through those scenarios as we speak. There are a number of different scenarios … essentially we've got to make this work," said Robinson, via Stuff.

"We own the responsibility for the future financial viability of the game, we know we've got some incredibly challenging times and some significant headwinds in front of us but we're confident we can work through it."

Rob Nichol, head of the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association, acknowledged players may be forced to accept pay cuts, but Robinson said it was too early to tell if that would be required.

"That's a question for the future," said Robinson. "I know Rob has come out with an initial view on that. We haven't had any detailed conversations with the players.

"I'd stress they've been fantastic so far in how proactive they've been in terms of seeking solutions through all this, and we'll continue to work with them.

"But that's not something we're focused on right now. In due course it might be a conversation we pick up at a later date."

New Zealand has seen 28 cases of coronavirus infection but no deaths.

The coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar on Saturday with more major events and competitions being disrupted.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the globe, it has resulted in the postponement of competitions worldwide as governments attempt to combat the pandemic.

A small number of events still went ahead, but sports stars, teams and indeed supporters were otherwise left to find other means of entertainment.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 155,000, we round up all the latest news and updates.

 

Germany's prestige friendly with Italy later this month became the latest football fixture to bite the dust, with the majority of upcoming international matches having now been wiped out.

More major organisations have halted all footballing activities until a later date, including Qatar, Morocco and Egypt.

A small number of competitions, most notably the A-League, Russian Premier League and Mexico's Liga MX, did manage to go ahead as planned.

Indeed, NRL games also avoided the cut, as did a handful of Super Rugby matches before an indefinite ban was put in place later in the day.

Another competition to fall was Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand, which was already being played behind closed doors.

With New Zealand's government introducing strict protocols to attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the Black Caps – along with Super Rugby side Highlanders – returned home from Australia and Argentina respectively in order to beat the new restrictions, which will mean any new arrival to the country, even if they are a citizen, has to self-isolate for 14 days.

With the top-four tiers of English football being shelved until at least early April, there was plenty of focus on the National League as six games were given the green light.

There was some controversy in Argentina as River Plate's Copa Superliga clash with Atletico Tucuman was suspended after the home side refused to open their stadium.

Independiente's tie with Velez Sarsfield was played out in full, albeit behind closed doors, with the hosts claiming a 1-0 victory.

In Italy, Napoli urged their supporters to sing from their balconies in unison as Fiorentina's Patrick Cutrone and two more Sampdoria players tested positive for COVID-19.

Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy revealed a negative test result after recently self-isolating, but Carlo Ancelotti and Angelo Ogbonna questioned the Premier League's handling of the outbreak, while Jordan Pickford denied reports he is self-isolating.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, meanwhile, claimed the competition should be "void" – a suggestion Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher quickly dismissed.

The lack of football did not stop certain clubs from keeping supporters entertained, though, with LaLiga side Leganes posting live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, which they won 2-1.

Perhaps inspired by their Spanish counterparts, Southampton got Manchester City involved in an online game of noughts and crosses to help fill the void.

The downtime also gave football stars a chance to recuperate, with Sergio Ramos and Alexis Sanchez among those to post images of their extra-curricular activities.

Others, such as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, opted to use social media to educate their followers on how to properly wash their hands, while Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi used his profile to echo the sentiments of Cristiano Ronaldo in calling for people to follow the guidance of health organisations.

As Ronaldo and Jurgen Klopp were praised by the World Health Organisation for "protecting people from coronavirus", former United States president Barack Obama hailed a host of NBA stars – including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson – for donating large amounts to help support arena staff during the league's hiatus.

UFC superstar Conor McGregor labelled the pandemic "a stupid f****** virus", but later moved to clarify his aunt did not die after contracting the disease after previously suggesting as such.

And in more positive news, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe revealed his country still plan for the 2020 Olympic Games to go ahead in Tokyo, starting in late July.

The International Olympic Committee will have the final say, but ABE is confident the Games will be staged "without problem".

Australia's remaining ODI matches against the Black Caps and the upcoming Twenty20 series have been postponed after the New Zealand government introduced strict travel conditions due to coronavirus.

The cancelation of the series comes as New Zealand enforce a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for those entering the country from midnight on Sunday (local time) amid the global COVID-19 outbreak.

After Australia's 71-run win over New Zealand in Friday's ODI opener played without fans at the SCG, the hosts were due to face the Black Caps in Sydney (Sunday) and Hobart (March 20) for the final two 50-over fixtures.

New Zealand were also set to host a three-match T20 series, starting in Dunedin on March 24, however, the games have been called off as the Black Caps rush home.

"Arrangements are being made to fly the bulk of the squad home this evening [Saturday]," New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said in a statement.

"NZC believes both these series can be replayed in their entirety at a later and more appropriate date.

"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."

New Zealand's border restrictions could also impact the A-League, NRL and Super Rugby competitions.

Coronavirus continues to disrupt sport across the world, with the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, MLS, NBA, NHL, MLB and tennis among the sports on hiatus, while the Formula One's season-opening Australian Grand Prix was cancelled on Friday.

In Australia, there have been almost 200 cases of COVID-19 with three deaths, while New Zealand are yet to record a casualty in six cases so far.

Globally, over 5,400 people have died from the virus following more than 145,000 cases.

With coronavirus spreading across the globe, sports events, tournaments and leagues have been postponed or cancelled en masse. 

On Friday, the Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 followed the example of LaLiga and Serie A by suspending fixtures, while golf's Masters tournament in the United States was also postponed.

The Giro d'Italia is awaiting a new date, while the NBA, NHL and MLB seasons have all been put on hold.

Planned Six Nations fixtures have also been postponed, including Saturday's clash between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff, while England's tour of Sri Lanka and South Africa's tour of India have been scrapped.

However, despite the upheaval, some events are still set to take place.

FOOTBALL

While most of the major leagues across the globe have been suspended, some are carrying on, though often with mitigating circumstances such as playing behind closed doors.

In Argentina, both the Superliga and Primera A competitions are scheduled to continue, while matches in Australia's A-League are also set to take place. Liga MX remains, and the Russian Premier League is likewise going ahead.

RUGBY LEAGUE

Though Leeds Rhinos' meeting with Catalans Dragons has been postponed, the rest of the Super League fixtures this weekend will be played, as will the Challenge Cup matches, with fans allowed to attend.

In Australia, the first round of NRL fixtures will take place, though the second round will be held behind closed doors, based upon government advice.

CRICKET

The Indian Premier League start date has been pushed back two weeks until mid-April, but the Pakistan Super League has been given the all clear to continue – although a number of players have pulled out, leaving a reduced schedule.

Four matches this weekend precede a pair of semi-finals next week.

There are question marks over Sunday's behind-closed-doors ODI between New Zealand and Australia in Sydney, however, as Black Caps pace bowler Lockie Ferguson is in isolation after complaining of a sore throat.

RUGBY UNION

Wales-Scotland, scheduled for Saturday, was the last of the three planned Six Nations games for this weekend to fall through. The Pro14 and all French rugby union fixtures have also been halted, and Sunday's Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale Sharks and Harlequins belatedly joined the mass cull of fixtures.

There are six Super Rugby matches to look forward to across the course of the weekend, however, despite the Australian government advising against non-essential gatherings.

Meanwhile, the RFU Championship fixture list has also been largely unaffected, the weekend's action starting with Newcastle Falcons' home match against Bedford Blues on Friday.

Pacemen Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were to the fore as Australia claimed a 71-run win over New Zealand in the first ODI of the Chappell-Hadlee Series.

In a match that took place in the surreal environs of a deserted Sydney Cricket Ground – fans were not allowed to attend due to coronavirus measures – Australia captain Aaron Finch and fellow opener David Warner laid a solid foundation with scores of 60 and 67 respectively, combining for an opening stand of 124 in 24 overs.

The hosts wobbled to 165-4 as New Zealand battled back from Lockie Ferguson's (2-60) removal of Warner, with spinners Ish Sodhi (3-51) and Mitchell Santner (2-34) the pick of their attack.

Marnus Labuschagne kept Australia on course for a solid total, however, with a busy 56 from 52 balls that featured only two fours.

Mitchell Marsh added a similarly industrious 27 and the seam-bowling all-rounder chipped in with 3-29 as New Zealand rarely looked like threatening a target of 258-7.

Openers Martin Guptill (40) and Henry Nicholls made glacial progress, unable to get Australia's new ball bowlers away and they were 28-1 when the latter edged Hazlewood (2-37) behind.

The Black Caps' race was effectively run in a three-over period that saw leg-spinner Adam Zampa bowl Kane Williamson for 19, Ross Taylor thrash Marsh to Mitchell Starc at midwicket and Cummins (3-25) remove Guptill courtesy of a fabulous catch by Steve Smith at backward point.

A defiant sixth-wicket stand of 51 between Tom Latham (38) and Colin de Grandhomme (25) was New Zealand's final reason for fleeting optimism before Hazlewood had Latham caught in the deep after drinks and 147-6 began to subside to an eventual 187 all out with nine overs left unused.

Australia paceman Kane Richardson has been tested for coronavirus and will miss the opening ODI against New Zealand on Friday.

Richardson reported a mild sore throat on Thursday and is being quarantined as he awaits the results of his coronavirus test.

The 29-year-old was part of the Australia limited-overs squads that played in South Africa in February and March.

"Our medical staff are treating this as a typical throat infection but we are following Australian Government protocols that require us to keep Kane away from other members of the squad and perform the appropriate tests given he has returned from international travel in the last 14 days," a Cricket Australia spokesperson said, via cricket.com.au.

"Once we receive the results of the tests and Kane recovers in the next few days we expect he will re-join the team.

"We will not be making further comment until something changes."

Sean Abbott has joined the Australia squad as cover.

The three-match ODI series, which begins in Sydney on Friday, will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.

Australia's upcoming one-day international series against New Zealand will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed that fans will not be allowed into grounds to watch the three-match series, which starts on Friday at the SCG.

Ticket-holders will be given a full refund with no decision yet made over Australia's upcoming three-match Twenty20 international tour of New Zealand.

"Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation at home and overseas before making a decision on Australian men's international matches beyond the Australian leg of the ODI tournament," said a statement.

It was also confirmed that Australia's World Cup-winning women's side's tour of South Africa has been suspended.

A series of three ODIs and three T20s was set to get under way in Durban on March 22.

"We have taken strong action today in the face of an unprecedented public health issue," said Kevin Roberts, CA's chief executive.

"We believe this is the right decision to minimise the risk of public exposure to the coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic on Thursday.

"We understand that these changes to our schedule will impact many, but we hope our community will understand that the public health and safety issues caused by the coronavirus must take priority over sport at this time. This is not an issue specific to cricket."

Domestic cricket in Australia will continue as scheduled with the Sheffield Shield final to be played on March 27.

Chiefs centre Anton Lienert-Brown has committed his future to New Zealand by signing a new contract until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Lienert-Brown made his Super Rugby debut as an 18-year-old in 2014 and was handed his first All Blacks cap two years later, with his number of Test appearances now standing at 43.

The 24-year-old will remain available for his country for the next three years after putting pen to paper on a new deal.

"I love playing rugby in New Zealand. The team environments I have been a part of are really special," Lienert-Brown said in a statement.

"The challenge of the competition and team selection keeps me on my toes and drives me to be a better player and person.

"It's that challenge I enjoy the most and for me there is no better place I want to be, to develop on and off the field."

All Blacks coach Ian Foster said: "Anton has been a standout for the All Blacks in recent years and we congratulate him on his decision to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby.

"For someone relatively young, he's been an outstanding and consistent player who I feel is getting better and better. We look forward to seeing more of him this season and beyond."

Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry all return to New Zealand's one-day squad for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series against Australia.

The fast-bowling trio missed the ODI games against India on home soil through injury, though Boult did feature in the two Tests that followed against the same opponents after recovering from a broken hand.

As well as Boult, Ferguson suffered a calf strain while Henry broke his thumb as the Black Caps were blighted by absences during a 3-0 Test series defeat in Australia.

However, they are all available for the upcoming three one-dayers against their trans-Tasman rivals. The first two fixtures take place in Sydney on March 13 and 15, with the finale in Hobart five days later.

Seamers Hamish Bennett and Kyle Jamieson are also in a 15-man squad, along with spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi.

"Playing Australia in Australia is one of the great challenges in world cricket and you know you will be severely tested in all aspects of the game," said Black Caps coach Gary Stead.

"Our one-day unit is a pretty settled one with plenty of experience and I think that showed in the recent series against India.

"It’s great to welcome back the class of Trent, Matt and Lockie who spearheaded our run to the Cricket World Cup final last year.

"Kyle's made every post a winner since his international debut this season and he’ll be a handy asset to have in Australia."

 

New Zealand ODI squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

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.

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