BBL manager says having players in one state provides “greater flexibility to manage any further impacts of Covid-19”
The BBL has relocated its eight teams to a Victorian hub in a bid to combat the Covid-19 outbreak engulfing the competition, which has decimated several sides and forced three matches to be postponed.
Two of those postponements have been rescheduled in amended fixtures for January 10-16, jam-packed with 11 matches. Melbourne Stars – who have had 13 players test positive to Covid-19 – will play Perth Scorchers on January 11 in a match originally set for December 30, while their postponed game last night against Adelaide Strikers will take place on January 15.
While players and support staff from all teams will be based in Victoria for the remainder of the competition under enhanced biosecurity protocols, there will still be some matches played in other states under a fly-in, fly-out model.
The crammed fixtures see 10.10 am starts for Strikers’ home matches against Scorchers and Stars on January 14 and 15, as the BBL remains adamant to push ahead with Australia’s Covid-19 situation, marked by record-breaking cases daily, which is unlikely to improve soon amid easing borders.
“The past week has thrown many Covid-related challenges the Big Bash’s way, but throughout, we have remained steadfast in our resolve to safely and successfully complete the season,” BBL general manager Alistair Dobson said.
“These changes are designed to help the league and clubs deliver on this, while also reducing risks to players, support staff and the matches themselves. Having our players based in one state provides significantly greater flexibility to manage any further impacts of Covid-19.”
The BBL is set to confirm the schedule for the remainder of the regular season, which is meant to finish on January 19, in the coming days.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth