'Never felt more vulnerable': Brutal Big Bash Covid truth exposed
Cricket Australia (CA) is weighing up whether to employ a Covid-19 hub in Melbourne, with the virus sparking unprecedented chaos across the Big Bash competition.
With anxiety running high across the BBL after multiple Covid outbreaks, CA is trying to figure out how to best complete the season while keeping players and staff safe.
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It comes after the virus left the Melbourne Stars' playing squad decimated due to 12 players testing positive.
As a result, the Stars have been forced to call up Victorian club cricketers just to field a team for their last two games.
The situation has been described as "unfair" by former players and commentators, with an announcement on the future of the season tipped to be made as early as today.
Stars allrounder Hilton Cartwright admitted it was tough to forget about the coronavirus situation and prepare for Monday night's match against the Melbourne Renegades.
Incredibly, the Covid-ravaged Stars were eyeing off an extraordinary upset as the Renegades lost 4-18 at the MCG.
But the inexperienced pair of Mackenzie Harvey (23no) and James Seymour (17no) steered the Renegades past the Stars' paltry total of 126 with 12 balls to spare.
Former Aussie Test player Cartwright summed up the mood in his playing group after revealing that he'd had talks with the Stars' wellbeing staff following opening batters Joe Clarke and Tom Rogers being forced out of Monday night's Melbourne derby.
Gun players such as Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile were already in isolation due to Covid-19.
Anxiety grows over Covid chaos
"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.
"It would just be nice to know (if the hub is going to happen), there's obviously talk of it.
"I think everyone would know that's a good thing if it keeps the competition going."
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