On Tuesday night, the Goulburn District Cricket Association confirmed it would cancel its 2019/20 first grade grand final and all remaining cricket for the rest of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the Hibo Green scheduled to take on the Workers Stags today, the title was instead awarded to the former for their superior win-loss ratio during the season.
"It's a bit bigger than just a game of cricket, in the end it came down to player safety," GDCA president Tim Price said.
"It wasn't an easy decision with finals [ahead]."
With the cancellation of the final, Hibo Green has retained its title from the 2018/19 season, and Price praised all players for their understanding reaction to a very difficult situation.
"When we had to inform the teams who were playing this weekend, we had to declare who were going to be the premiers and there's always going to be a team on the other side of that decision," Price said.
"I was a bit anxious about having to put that out there to the players, but to their credit they were unbelievably good.
"There was a tinge of frustration, which I can understand, but overall they were supportive and understood why it had to happen."
Hibo Green captain, Dane Stevenson, said to win a premiership by default was "bittersweet", but added that it served as recognition for the excellent performances of his teammates throughout the season.
"There's a lot of blokes who have worked really hard this year and come along in leaps and bounds," he said.
"Some of them have performed above and beyond what they thought they would.
"It's not celebrating a premiership as such for us, it's celebrating our time together and the cricket we've played this year."
Stevenson said it was the team's effort with the ball towards the end of the season which pleased him the most.
"Sticking to plans and really grinding teams down, that's something we didn't really do last year with the ball," he said.
"We had a plethora of bowling options that we could fall back on, but this year options were limited with injuries and absences.
"I think everyone knew what their role was and how we had to go about getting teams out."
- Also read: Let's all enjoy the footy while we can
The Gordon Goats claimed the second grade title following their minor premiership this season.
Though the GDCA did vote to cancel all remaining cricket this season, the decision would have been taken out of their hands by the Goulburn Mulwaree Council regardless.
On Tuesday night, the council voted to close the sporting grounds in Goulburn, as an extra precaution against the coronavirus.
The cancellations and closures are all part of the precautionary measures being taken by sporting clubs and organisations across the country to slow the spread of the virus.
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