Armidale City UNE first-grade captain Karl Triebe has labelled as "a joke" and a "knee-jerk reaction" the decision to cancel Armidale cricket matches because of the coronavirus.
In a response to a Cricket Australia recommendation, Armidale's senior and junior cricket grand finals have been cancelled, including the first-grade finale between Armidale City UNE and Guyra that had been scheduled for this weekend. All cricket matches in the region have been cancelled.
Triebe said: "It is the least contact sport out there and I think it [the cancellation order] is a joke, especially in a small town like ours."
He argued that the grand finals would not have attracted big crowds, and Armidale had no reported cornavirus cases.
"So [there is] no reason why we shouldn't go ahead with our local sport," he said.
"Yeah, if a couple of cases came out, take precautions. But it is not the case at the moment. It is just a knee-jerk reaction."
Triebe said it was a "shame" the grand final had been cancelled.
"I was looking forward to it ... because they [Guyra] are good bunch of guys and it would be a good, competitive game," he said.
Armidale District Cricket Association has given clubs who have qualified for grand finals the option of playing the finales at the beginning of next season or be declared joint-premiers.
On Tuesday, Cricket Australia released a recommendation to cancel remaining matches nationwide, saying that it "expects that all Premier and Community Cricket competitions [will] cancel all cricket activity for the remainder of the 2019-20 season."
In a separate press release, Central North Zone spokeswoman Hayley Bullock said that all competition in the region "will be ceased regardless of whether they are completed or not".
"Cricket Australia also strongly recommends that end of season award presentations be cancelled or postponed in light of the public health environment," she said.