Heat-Sixers Big Bash clash postponed again

·3-min read

The Brisbane Heat's COVID-19 outbreak has grown to 13, forcing a postponement of their clash with the Sydney Sixers as Big Bash League officials struggle to keep the season running.

In another blow for the T20 tournament, the Heat have told BBL officials they cannot field a team after their match had been pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Twelve Heat players and a coach have tested positive.

They now face a scramble to name a side to face the Melbourne Renegades on Thursday, while trying to gain clearance to fly to Geelong for the clash.

The Renegades also recorded their first COVID-19 case on Wednesday, cancelling training when one of their members recorded a positive rapid test.

All players from the club will now have to return negative PCR tests before taking to the field for Thursday night's game.

It came as Melbourne Stars captain Glenn Maxwell also returned a positive rapid antigen test and is isolating.

One of the Big Bash League's marquee players, Maxwell tested positive after Monday's loss to the Renegades.

Hobart also lost two players to the virus for their Wednesday night date with Adelaide, with internationals Jordan Thompson and Harry Brook deemed close contacts of infected teammate Josh Kann.

"We acknowledge the wholehearted efforts of the Brisbane Heat to field a team tonight," BBL boss Alistair Dobson said.

"However, in the time available it was not possible for them to secure the 13 players required, hence the decision to postpone the match."

The postponement comes after the Stars had a match against the Perth Scorchers pushed back last Thursday.

That match is yet to be played, but the Stars were forced to field two inexperienced line-ups with up to 12 players missing in their past two games.

But Dobson said this situation was different, given the Heat weren't able to put a squad of 13 together in the same fashion the Stars did from Victorian club cricket.

Heat officials also said testing notification delays meant they did not realise their full list of shortages until Wednesday afternoon.

The club now plans to bring in Pakistan international Fakhar Zaman and Melbourne-based local replacement players to help fill their squad against the Renegades.

"We are working hard now to finalise preparations for the next week for the squad," Queensland Cricket chief executive Terry Svenson

"(That's) including those who are currently isolating or ill, and to secure a playing group to compete in matches in that time frame."

The Stars meanwhile could have the bulk of their players return for Friday's clash with Adelaide, provided negative PCRs return in time.

A Melbourne hub remains on the cards for the competition, with the advantage of having multiple teams in Queensland evident on Tuesday when Perth were rushed in to play the Sixers in Brisbane's place.

The Scorchers claimed a 10-run win in the grand final rematch on the Gold Coast despite the late notice.

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