COVID chaos bumps Heat from BBL schedule

·3-min read

The Perth Scorchers have answered an SOS to play the Sydney Sixers in a hurried piece of BBL rescheduling after the Brisbane Heat were cut down by COVID-19 issues.

The Heat were due to take on the Sixers on Tuesday night at Metricon Stadium, but they were dropped from the fixture just five hours before the toss after several members of the travelling party returned positive rapid antigen tests.

The Scorchers were scheduled to play the Sixers in a grand final rematch on Thursday.

The Heat will now take on the Sixers on Wednesday, with the Scorchers' match against the Sydney Thunder moved from Wednesday to Thursday.

Anxiety is running high across the BBL after multiple COVID-19 outbreaks, leaving CA with the predicament of trying to figure out how to complete the season while keeping players and staff safe.

A Melbourne hub remains on the cards.

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

Stars allrounder Hilton Cartwright admitted it was tough to forget about the coronavirus situation and prepare for Monday night's clash with the Melbourne Renegades.

The former Australia Test player had talks with the Stars' wellbeing staff following opening batters Joe Clarke and Tom Rogers being forced out of the Melbourne derby at the MCG.

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

"I've never felt more vulnerable to a virus in my entire life and I never realised how much it was going to affect my mental state," Cartwright said.

"I've always had form slumps and this ranks right up there with how I actually feel about going about my business day-to-day.

"Myself and my wife have basically been locked up in our room, not sure if we should catch the lift in case someone in there might have caught (COVID-19).

"Constantly it's on your mind and then you've got to walk out there and perform one of the biggest pressure stages.

"I was really battling that throughout the day but once it got to about 4pm, all I was doing was trying to focus on the game.

"But I can't see things getting worse than what it's already been because the guys are meant to be coming out of their isolation period in the next couple of days."

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

"If we were in that position with 12 guys out, I don't know how we would put a team out on the park, so hats off to them, but it doesn't quite feel right," Richardson said.

"As players, we're all a bit unsure at the moment, and we're trying our best not to get the virus, but if we do, we don't know what the go is."

REVISED BBL FIXTURES

* January 4, 6:15pm AEST: Perth Scorchers v Sydney Sixers (previously scheduled for January 6)

* January 5, 8:15pm AEST: Brisbane Heat v Sydney Sixers (previously scheduled for January 4)

* January 6, 8:15pm AEST: Perth Scorchers v Sydney Thunder (previously scheduled for January 5)

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