Australia's domestic first-class competition, the Sheffield Shield, is set to be cancelled before its conclusion due to coronavirus, the first such event since the Second World War.

Cricket Australia officially announced the decision to cancel the final round of the regular season on Sunday morning. The players are understood to have been informed on Saturday night, before they travelled to venues. The final, scheduled to be hosted by New South Wales in Wollongong, is also set to be cancelled, although CA have said an update will be provided "in due course".

Concerns about the risk of contracting coronavirus while travelling by air is thought to be a part of the decision, with South Australia to host Queensland in Adelaide, Western Australia to host New South Wales in Perth and Victoria to host Tasmania in Melbourne.

With nine of 10 rounds completed, NSW sit clearly atop the table, with Victoria second and then little separating Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia. It is not yet clear whether NSW will be awarded the Shield as the top team, or no winner declared.

The Shield has been contested every season since 1892, only stopped by the First World War from 1915 to 1919 and the Second World War from 1940 to 1946.

"At times like this, cricket must take a back seat for the greater good," the CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said. "We have been in consultation with relevant government agencies, our own medical team and an infectious-diseases expert for quite some time now, and we have taken all their advice into account in making these decisions.

"In recent days, it has become evident that we must play our part in helping limit the spread of the virus by reducing person-to-person contact wherever possible. These measures reflect that.

"The decisions made this week are not something we are accustomed to in cricket. But by making them, we hope we can contribute to the global effort to slow, and eventually stop, the spread of coronavirus."

After hosting an ODI between Australia and New Zealand at an empty SCG on Friday, CA was forced to cancel the remainder of the series due to the visiting team being called home, with the New Zealand government imposing emergency travel measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

An Under-19s women's tour of South Africa has also been cancelled, after the decision to abandon a senior women's tour of the same nation, and the men's team's trip to New Zealand for Twenty20 matches.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig