Big Bash League: Perth Scorchers’ game with Melbourne Stars to go ahead despite three new positive Stars cases
The Perth Scorchers will face a Melbourne Stars team stretched to breaking point after the COVID-hit Big Bash League squad suffered three new COVID-positive cases to leave 10 players sidelined for Sunday’s clash.
Cricket Australia confirmed the match would go ahead despite the Stars’ struggles, with a trio of players joining the initial seven in testing positive when PCR test results came back on Saturday night.
Sunday’s Junction Oval clash is likely to proceed under strict conditions and with no X-factor substitutes, as was the case with the short-handed Sydney Thunder in their New Year’s Eve win over Adelaide after four squad members were ruled out.
The Stars also have eight support staff isolating in the cluster that has grown after a staffer tested positive on the morning of Thursday’s ultimately-postponed clash with Perth.
“Our thoughts are with our players who have tested positive today and we wish them a speedy recovery,” Stars general manager Blair Crouch said.
“Thanks to the medical teams at Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia for their ongoing support under difficult circumstances.
“Despite all the challenges over the last few days, we look forward to taking to the field (on Sunday) to play in front of our members and fans.”
The Scorchers are likely to make at least three changes to the side that lost to the Sydney Thunder before Thursday’s match was postponed.
Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis have departed to join the Australian Test squad, with Cam Bancroft set to return to the line-up and one of Nick Hobson or Aaron Hardie also likely for a call-up.
Import Tymal Mills is also in line to be recalled after being rested, with Peter Hatzoglou or Matt Kelly appearing most vulnerable despite the latter’s impressive return of 3-30 against the Thunder.
Scorchers coach Adam Voges said he was proud of his side’s ability to emerge as title contenders despite the challenging environment and the blow of playing just one home game due to WA’s border situation.
“The cricket has been great and the way that we’ve played has been excellent, but I’ll probably look more at what’s happening behind the scenes and the challenges we’re facing and have faced so far,” he said.
“The resilience of our group to get on with the job and to play as well as they have done is a huge credit to them and to our staff who are working tirelessly to try and make this all happen.”
Cricket Australia is yet to rule on when Thursday’s postponed Scorchers-Stars clash will be postponed to, with less than three weeks until the scheduled finals-opening date of January 21.
STARS V SCORCHERS
Sunday 12.30pm (WA time), Junction Oval
TV: Fox Cricket
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