Lockdown forces soccer, NBL postponements

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The Australian Open and AFLW will play on, without crowds, but Saturday's two A-League fixtures and an NBL game in Bendigo have been postponed due to Victoria's five-day COVID lockdown.

While the on-court action at Melbourne Park and multiple AFLW games are set to continue during the statewide lockdown period, the A-League and W-League have postponed games involving teams from Victoria.

Other sports including cricket and Supercars are also weighing up their options while the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby outfit have hastily relocated to Canberra.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lockdown on Friday following a surge of virus cases, with stage-four restrictions to be in place across the state from 11.59pm on Friday until 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Australian Open boss Craig Tiley said there was no prospect of cancelling the tournament and that play would continue as scheduled, with players to compete in a 'bubble'.

The AFL confirmed Friday night's AFLW match between Geelong and the Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium would go ahead as planned with crowds - in line with current government guidelines - but three matches in Victoria starting after the lockdown would be held behind closed doors.

St Kilda's clash with Carlton, and Melbourne's game against North Melbourne - both on Saturday - will be closed to the public, as will Sunday's match between Collingwood and Richmond.

GWS' game against Gold Coast and Adelaide's clash with Fremantle are planned to go ahead with crowds.

Brisbane's match against West Coast has been locked in for Monday afternoon at Brisbane's Hickey Park, with no crowd allowed.

Saturday's NBL clash between Melbourne United and Cairns Taipans in Bendigo has been postponed, while a call on the South East Melbourne v Perth Wildcats game in Melbourne on Sunday will be made on Saturday.

The NBL Cup, set to bring all nine clubs to Melbourne from February 20, will go ahead at this stage.

Super Rugby nomads last season, the Melbourne Rebels have been forced to hit the road again at short notice.

They will set up a temporary base in Canberra, avoiding a Queensland border closure for the greater Melbourne region to ensure they can meet the Reds in their season opener in Brisbane on February 26.

In the A-League, Western United's home match against Sydney FC at AAMI Park and Melbourne City's game with Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium have both been postponed.

Western United are waiting on Victorian government advice on whether an exemption for professional sport during the lockdown will allow the team to keep training.

As well as the two A-League fixtures, Saturday's W-League match between Newcastle and Melbourne City has been postponed, with the Jets flying straight back to NSW on Friday after landing in Melbourne as the lockdown was announced.

Tuesday's A-League match between City and Sydney FC at AAMI Park is also under a cloud while similar doubts exist for Melbourne Victory's home game against Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday.

Supercars have postponed a planned test day in the Victorian town of Winton, moving that from Tuesday next week to Friday, February 19.

Meanwhile the lockdown may delay cricket superstar Pat Cummins' captaincy debut for NSW.

Cummins, Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon were set to face Victoria in a one-day game at North Sydney Oval on Monday.

The SCG is scheduled to host a star-studded Sheffield Shield clash between the Blues and Vics on Wednesday.

Cricket Australia is weighing up its options, just two days after finalising its 2020-21 fixtures, but a rejig will be required unless it can secure exemptions for Victoria's squad.