Domestic season is facing significant challenges trying to get a fixture list together
Victoria and New South Wales are hoping they will be able to travel to South Australia to quarantine for two weeks in an attempt to begin their domestic seasons.
With the Covid-19 situation in the two states and the associated travel restrictions various options have been on the table, but there is yet to be confirmation that the South Australia option will be viable and on Thursday evening the Age reported that talks between Cricket Australia and the state government had stalled.
If it does come together, the squads would likely be free of quarantine by late October. They would then need at least week to prepare for matches which could involve them traveling to the other open states of Western Australia and Tasmania with the hope of playing up to four Sheffield Shield and five Marsh Cup games before the Big Bash starts in early December.
“I think the plan is still for us to quarantine somewhere, and once we’re ‘clean’ so to speak, we’ll travel around and play in different places. But that’s not set in stone,” Victoria head coach Chris Rogers told SEN radio earlier on Thursday. “It looks like we’ll be going to Adelaide, and from there we’ll wait to see when the fixtures come out.
“I think we’re hoping that we go into quarantine not this weekend, the weekend after and then have we’ll have two weeks of quarantine. We’ll probably need another six to seven days of getting the bowlers back up and prepared. We’re probably looking at about four weeks from now.”
Victoria had to quarantine before last season’s Sheffield Shield hub in Adelaide and ended up trimming their fixture list due to concern over player workload after the difficult build-up.
Speaking to Fox Cricket, New South Wales and Australia offspinner Nathan Lyon said he expected to be heading to Adelaide on Monday.
So far there has only been one Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup match played with South Australia facing Western Australia last week. The scheduled Queensland-Tasmania fixture, which had been due to start in Brisbane on Tuesday, was called off shortly before the toss when Tasmania made the swift decision to return home due to Covid cases emerging in the city and concerns of being caught in border closures.
There is a significant impact on those players hoping to push their claims for a Test spot. Victoria have Marcus Harris, Will Pucovski and James Pattinson in their ranks while Lyon would hope for plenty of overs for New South Wales. The Queensland postponement means that Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser are yet to start their season.
The original domestic fixture lists had to be torn up after the Covid outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales. The WNCL has been pushed back to start after the WBBL which itself has had the first 20 matches shifted entirely to Tasmania.