Big Bash imports are being subjected to strict quarantine rules leaving them unable to train and some, like star spinner Rashid Khan, won’t exit until just days before their opening match as officials jump another COVID-19 hurdle.
Khan only arrived in Australia on Monday and will have to complete a full 14-day hotel quarantine before linking up with his Adelaide Strikers teammates three days before the first match in Hobart on December 11.
The release of the full BBL fixture on Monday included games in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in January with officials confident they have structured the season in a way which ensures they can “get in” to any states with ongoing border restrictions.
Chartered planes will be used until the safety of players can be guaranteed on commercial flights and Big Bash boss Alistair Dobson conceded it was a large added expense but a neccesasary one to “deliver the matches we have scheduled”.
While the touring Indian players were given exemptions to train and prepare for the limited overs series against Australia which begins on Friday, individual players arriving for the Big Bash were not.
Clubs have signed internationals players from England, the West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and Afghanistan and Dobson said it remained a “24/7 project” to get them in for the start of the season on December 10.
There are currently 12 players and a coach already in Australian completing quarantine, but most only arrived last weekend and will be limited to four or five days preparation with their teammates.
The West Indies are in New Zealand for T20 and Test series. The trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand should allow any Big Bash bound players to enter the country without serving quarantine.
“There are some players that have arrived ands are doing their 14 days. They are in the regular overseas quarantine in different states. ,” Dobson said.
“It will be a different preparation, it will be tough on a number of levels. But the importance of that process is crticial to the country.”
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