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Plans for the Sheffield Shield have been thrown into further disarray after New South Wales and Victoria’s trips to South Australia for hotel quarantine were blocked by health authorities.
The NSW men’s squad were meant to be flying into Adelaide this weekend and Victoria the following week, each to complete two weeks of hard quarantine before spending around another week training ahead of their games.
Victoria and New South Wales are unsure of when their Sheffield Shield campaigns will begin.Credit:Getty Images
While talks between Cricket Australia and the SA government are continuing, neither state squad expects to be making the trip anytime soon, as the clock starts to run down on the window available for Shield and domestic one day games to be played before the early December start of the Big Bash League.
Should the border remain closed, Victoria and NSW may even be compelled to play a series of matches against one another.
Frustration is mounting among fully-vaccinated players and staff about the problems with state borders amid the COVID-19 outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne. Only two domestic fixtures, between South Australia and Western Australia in Adelaide, have been played so far.
CA is currently in negotiations with the ECB about quarantine and biosecurity arrangements for this summer’s Ashes series. Cricket Tasmania has already flagged that November’s scheduled Test against Afghanistan will be postponed.
“The plan is still for us to go and quarantine along with NSW somewhere, and then once we’re clean, so to speak, we will travel around and play in different places,” Victoria’s coach Chris Rogers told SEN Radio before the update was conveyed this afternoon.
“That’s the plan at the moment, but that’s not set in stone.
“I think Adelaide. I don’t think we’ll be quarantining with NSW. I think they’re due to go out this weekend, but we’re not. So we might have to wait a week or so, but looks like we’ll be going to Adelaide and from there we’ll wait and see.”
Queensland’s meeting with Tasmania in Brisbane was postponed after Queensland reported a handful of local COVID cases on Tuesday, with the Tigers’ squad racing back home to Hobart out of fear that their state government would close the border. The women’s Test match between Australia and India has been able to get underway on the Gold Coast, meanwhile.
“We were planning originally to be starting the season on September 11, so we had the guys up and ready really around that stage,” Rogers said.
“Since then we’re in a holding pattern, so we’ve had opportunities to play some intra-squad matches. But you can just sense the guys are getting a little bit frustrated that they can’t play in proper matches. We’re desperately hoping to go and play some of those.
“We’re hoping we go into quarantine, not this weekend but the weekend after, and after two weeks of quarantine we’ll probably need another six to seven days of getting the bowlers back up and bowling and prepared to play. So, we’re probably looking at about four weeks from now.”
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