Two Perth Scorchers test positive to COVID ahead of qualifier final against Sydney Sixers
Speedster Lance Morris and batter Chris Sabburg are the latest Perth Scorchers to test positive for COVID-19.
The pair returned positive PCR tests a few days out from the Scorchers’ qualifier final against Sydney Sixers at Marvel Stadium on Saturday and were ruled out while they isolate away from the group.
They became the fifth and six players in the squad to be affected by the virus during the tournament after Colin Munro, Matthew Kelly, Nick Hobson (positive cases) and Cameron Bancroft (close contact).
Munro and Hobson have already made successful returns, while Kelly and Bancroft were named in the Scorchers’ 16-player squad for Saturday.
The two biggest inclusions in the squad are Australian Test quick Jhye Richardson and English import Laurie Evans.
Richardson who comes back in for his first game of the tournament after leading the competition’s wicket-taking last season with 27 scalps to win the Simon Katich Medal as the Scorchers’ best player.
He’s likely to be a straight swap for Morris.
“Jhye’s definitely going to play,” Scorchers captain Ashton Turner said.
“He takes wickets with the new ball swinging it, he bowls the surge over as an amazingly skilled defensive bowler and he bowls the death over.
“He can bowl to any batters. He can bowl to any situations. We talk a lot about T20 cricket and match-ups, well it seems in our planning meetings that Jhye matches up well to everyone.”
Evans is making good progress from a broken toe sustained in the loss to the Strikers last Friday, with a pre-game fitness test to determine his availability.
“Most guys who have played professional cricket for long enough have broken a toe at some stage, I know I have on a few occasions,” Turner said.
“Honestly they’re just a pain in the arse. They’re a bit sore, but he’s going to do a fitness test. I’ve got a pretty strong feeling that he’ll be available for selection.”
The winner of Saturday’s clash gets direct entry into next Friday’s BBL final, with the loser getting a second chance on Wednesday against the winner of Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers.
Both teams have won three titles, with the Sixers going for a record third in a row.
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