Cricket Australia plans to move Big Bash League to Melbourne hub amid rising COVID-19 cases

Anxiety is at its height throughout the BBL, as several outbreaks of COVID-19 leave a hub in Melbourne seen as a serious option to continue the tournament.

In an unprecedented crisis for BBL, Cricket Australia is trying to figure out how to end the season and also keep players and staff safe.

An announcement on the future of this season could be made today.

Twelve Melbourne Stars players have contracted COVID-19, forcing stars to call out Victorian club cricketers just to field a team for their last two games.

All-rounder Hilton Cartwright admitted it was hard to forget the coronavirus situation and prepare for Monday night’s clash with the Melbourne Renegades.

The former Australia Test player spoke to the Stars’ welfare staff after opening hitters Joe Clarke and Tom Rogers were forced out of the Melbourne derby at the MCG.

Armed players such as Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile were already in isolation due to COVID-19.

“I have always had falls in shape, and it is very much like how I actually feel about my day to day affairs.

“My wife and I were locked in our room, not sure if we should take the elevator in case someone could have taken it [COVID-19].

“It’s constantly in your head and then you have to go out and play [on] one of the most pressurized stages.

“I was really fighting it all day long, but once it got there around 4pm all I did was try to focus on the game.

“But I can’t see it getting any worse from where it once was because the guys are supposed to come out of their isolation in the next few days.”

Fast Renegades Kane Richardson felt sorry for what the Stars had to endure.

“If we were in that position with 12 players, I don’t know how we would put a team on the park, so hats off to them, but that doesn’t feel quite normal,” said Richardson.

“As players we are all a little uncertain at the moment, and we are doing our best not to catch the virus, but if we do, we don’t know what is going on.

“It would be nice to know [if the hub is going to happen], we are obviously talking about it.

“I think everyone would know it’s a good thing if it keeps the competition going.”

PAA

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