Big Bash League 2020/21: Cricketers exiting and further players testing positive

The Big Bash League 2020/21 will feature players staying within the bubble for the entirety of the duration.
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Super Sport?

Sports is back and so is cricket. Since the pandemic started, many have wondered whether their favourite leagues will be able to make it back this year. The Indian Premier League, in particular, would usually take place between March to May. However, it had to be pushed back to September and had to be held in the UAE.

What made the return of cricket possible is the bio-secure bubbles that the players and everyone involved in the leagues will have to be a part of. Once they are inside the bubble, they won’t be allowed to be in physical contact with anyone outside it. Testing has also become an important part to ensure everyone’s safety.

Even the upcoming Big Bash League this month will also take place in a bubble. Many are happy about this as they will be able to watch and wager on this big cricket league. BBL online odds and betting are already available for punters out there.

Has the bubble finally burst?

However, since many cricketers have been part of a bubble since July, it’s not a secret that many of them seem to have grown tired of it. Being part of the bubble is surely tough as this is something very new to the players and everyone else involved in the league.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04:Aaron Finch of Australia and David Warner of Australia pick up runs during the 1st Vitality International Twenty20 match between England and Australia at The Ageas Bowl on September 04, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images for ECB)

A few weeks ago, Australian opener David Warner already announced that he will not be a part of this year’s Big Bash League. Warner admitted that the pandemic and being part of the biosecure bubbles have taken a toll on his family life.

Warner explained his decision in an interview and said, “It’s difficult for us players to play all three forms, even if there is a window, you’ve got to have that break because you’re going full tilt into summer as well, there’s no off-season for us. I’ve got three kids at home and a wife that I owe my time to as well. So playing all three forms that’s very difficult to be able to do that, and I don’t think I’ll play while I’m playing for Australia still – that’s honestly speaking.

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What Tom Banton and his coach had to say

Since then, many have wondered whether more cricketers will follow the step taken by the superstar. Recently, Brisbane Heat’s Tom Banton has also already opted out of the Big Bash League 2020/21. Banton has also been part of bubbles since July and he found this a hard experience.

Banton talked about this and said, “It has been harder than I thought spending so much time in the hubs and bubbles and I came to the realisation that it wasn’t doing me much good. I know the Heat looked after me well during the BBL last year and I was confident that they would understand when I spoke to Boof and Lynny about going home to regroup.”

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BARNT GREEN, ENGLAND – MAY 15: Somerset and England cricketer Tom Banton photographed at the family home on May 15, 2020 in Barnt Green, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Heat’s coach, Darren Lehmann, has also confirmed this and that the club is now looking for a replacement. Lehmann talked about Banton’s exit in a statement and said, “After speaking with him at length, the best option for him is to head home to his family and loved ones and give himself every chance to recover.

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We back his decision 100 percent and hope he is feeling restored and mended very soon. It is a very challenging time for many people and cricket is no exception. There is no normality or worklife balance which is so important, especially in elite sport.”

A positive test but negative impact

Meanwhile, as the Big Bash League 2020/21 approaches, testing has been happening and it was recently reported that two players have tested positive. Afghanistan spinner and Brisbane Heat’s recruit Mujeeb Ur Rahman is said to be recovering from testing positive during their quarantine in Queensland.

Mujeeb will be in the care of the Queensland Health Department until he is cleared to play again with his team for the upcoming BBL. The CEO of Queensland Cricket, Terry Svenson, talked about how the welfare of the cricket start is of their high concern.

Svenson said, “We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the integrity of the competition and well-being of the player is suitably addressed. He is a young man far from home and we will ensure he is looked after.

The near future

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 01: Stars fans in the crowd show their support during the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades at Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 1, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s head for the BBL has also talked about the importance of everyone’s safety in a statement. Dobson said, “The health and safety of our players, staff and the wider community is our top priority this season. Both Mujeeb and the Brisbane Heat have our full support and we will ensure all Queensland Government protocols continue to be followed as he recovers.

The Big Bash League 2020/21 is scheduled to start on December 10 until January 26. The final day of the regular season will feature a triple-header split between the SCE and MCG. The five-match final series will then begin on January 29. The main finale of the BBL this year will be on February 6.

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