Big Bash deserts Sydney for season

Scott Bailey
·2-min read

No Big Bash games will be played in Sydney this summer after Cricket Australia deemed it impossible given COVID-19 border closures.

With Sydney locked out to every state due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it means the top-of-the-table Sixers and second-placed Thunder won't play in front of home fans.

After three games were moved on Friday, a further five were taken from the city on Monday night to both Adelaide and Melbourne.

It also likely means that despite their lofty ladder positions, neither team will be able to be rewarded with home finals.

"We all know how tough the past nine or 10 months have been for all Australians and this is just another unfortunate situation that we have to deal with," Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon said.

"Having talked to a number of players and staff at both the Sixers and Thunder, they are devastated that they can't play in front of their respective supporter bases.

"But we all recognise the significant challenges involved in border crossings in the current environment and the work everyone in Australian Cricket has put in."

Two games will also be moved out of Melbourne as part of the changes.

That includes Thursday's game between the Renegades and Brisbane Heat on short notice, which will now be a closed-doors match in Canberra.

Victoria's travel restrictions on Brisbane forced the change, however Cricket Australia said it was too late to make tickets available.

A game between Brisbane and the Adelaide Strikers - originally scheduled for the MCG - has also been moved to the Adelaide Oval now that other fixtures are also being played there.

Cricket Australia have so far somehow managed to navigate through the BBL season without having to postpone any games, largely as a reward for their hub system.

Instead, a small number of teams have had to play games while in quarantine to gain entry to states such as Perth after closures to Queensland and Victoria.

"The decision to make these adjustments to the BBL schedule was necessary to ensure the continuation of the season in light of the ongoing public health situation," Big Bash boss Alistair Dobson said.

MOVED BIG BASH GAMES

January 14: Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne to Manuka Oval, Canberra

January 21: Adelaide Strikers v Brisbane Heat, MCG to Adelaide Oval

January 22: Sydney Sixers v Sydney Thunder, SCG to Adelaide Oval

January 24: Sydney Thunder v Adelaide Strikers, Sydney Showground to Adelaide Oval

January 24: Sydney Sixers v Hobart Hurricanes, SCG to MCG

January 25: Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Thunder, Sydney Showground to Adelaide Oval

January 26: Brisbane Heat v Perth Scorchers, SCG to venue TBC