Aust T20 team walking quarantine tightrope

·2-min read

Austalia's T20 side have no margin for mishaps on their tour of New Zealand and will only be released from hotel quarantine on the morning of their first match.

Aaron Finch's men arrived in New Zealand late on Sunday night, meaning their fortnight's isolation will end on their first matchday, February 22.

The Australians are quarantining in Christchurch and will only have to travel across town to Hagley Park for the 7pm (5pm AEDT) start.

The packed domestic and international schedule, combined with New Zealand's strict COVID-19 regulations, meant this was the only option.

Jhye Richardson was one of a handful of players in the Big Bash League final on Saturday night who were on a plane less than 24 hours later.

"We had the final and then we flew the next day. A very quick turnaround but that's the way it goes," Richardson said.

While there's no doubt the touring party would prefer the trans-Tasman bubble to be in operation, allowing for free movement between Australia and New Zealand, there's no hint of resentment.

"It's not every day you get to represent your country on a T20 tour so we're completely fine with the turnaround," Richardson said.

The risk for Australia comes with a positive test or behaviour that breaks the protocols.

Every member of the touring party will take four COVID-19 tests during their stay.

Should anyone produce a positive test, training restrictions will apply.

Given the low odds of transmission, the larger risk may be non-compliance with Kiwi guidelines.

The Wallabies managed their isolation in October without incident, and performed admirably with a first-up draw against the All Blacks.

However, some touring cricket sides in NZ have not.

Both the West Indies and Pakistan had their training privileges revoked after breaching isolation rules.

Australian officials have every confidence everyone will adhere to the rules, given so many are well-versed in isolation protocols from previous tours or the BBL bubbles.

All things going to plan, gym training will begin on Thursday, followed by individualised training programs on Friday.

Players and staff have to eat alone in their hotel rooms, with no complaints over food or hotel quality.

The biggest problem might be boredom.

Finch said he'd be passing time by playing FIFA on his PlayStation or watching the Australian Open tennis.

"I'll definitely be supporting Ash Barty in the Australian Open... she's the best in the world so we'll be following her," he said.

Richardson said so far he'd been doing "a lot of sleeping".

"And talking to friends and family back home. Playing a lot of games. Watching a lot of TV. There's not much else to really do," he said.