Maxwell ruled out, 12 Heat players unavailable, Hales returns, one more for Billings & Mahmood
It was another chaotic day in the BBL with another fixture postponed and more positive COVID-19 cases including Glenn Maxwell, while Muhammad Hasnain was ruled out and Sam Billings and Saqib Mahmood named for one more game.
The BBL confirmed that Wednesday’s Brisbane Heat-Sydney Sixers has been postponed after 12 Heat players returned positive PCR tests for COVID-19.
The Heat are also scheduled to play the Melbourne Renegades on Thursday in Geelong and the club said: “The club remains confident however that it will field a 13-man squad for tomorrow night’s BBL game against the Melbourne Renegades at Geelong, with Pakistan international Fakhar Zaman and Melbourne-based local replacement players eligible and available to complement the squad.
“The Heat will take a charter flight from the Gold Coast tomorrow morning containing remaining players and coaches and eligible local replacement players.”
The Renegades are yet to confirm their squad for Thursday’s 6:05pm AEDT game against the Heatin Geelong but the club confirmed a member of its playing squad had returned a positive rapid antigen test result today as part of routine testing. No identities have been confirmed.
The Heat obviously have their challenges and will largely turn to replacement players and Pakistani import Fakhar Zaman ($125k BAT). Heat assistant coach Darren Lehmann told FoxCricket: “We’ve got three healthy ones. The guys who’ve come in are from all over Australia. They’re replacement players.”
The Sydney Thunder named a 17-man squad to play the Perth Scorchers on the Gold Coast in the late Thursday game.
Sam Billings ($158k BAT/WKP) and Saqib Mahmood ($154k BWL) are both included for their last games before departing along with Alex Hales ($104k BAT) who has come out of isolation. The other three players in isolation; Alex Ross ($105k BAT), Tanveer Sangha ($141k BWL) and Sam Whiteman ($52k BAT) will get out on January 7.
The Thunder confirmed Pakistani speedster Muhammad Hasnain ($140k BWL) is “unavailable for the match against Perth due to Queensland border restrictions.”
The Scorchers confirmed their squad with no Mitch Marsh ($244k BAT/BWL) or Josh Inglis ($86k WKP/BAT). Perth have confirmed Tymal Mills ($155k BWL) will be available to play, despite previously saying he was out, while Matt Kelly ($159k BWL) also returns after being a close contact.
Thunder: Billings, Cook, Cutting, Davies, Doggett, Gilkes, Green, Hales, Hearne, Holt, Mahmood, McAndrew, Nair, Sams, Sandhu, J.Sangha, Tremain
Scorchers: Turner (c), Agar, Bancroft, Behrendorff, Evans, Hardie, Hatzoglou, Kelly, Mills, Moody, Morris, Munro, Patterson, Sabburg, Tye
Glenn Maxwell ($165k BAT/BWL) was the latest player to test positive to COVID-19 ruling him out for the next seven days. The Stars update said: “The Melbourne Stars can confirm that Glenn Maxwell has returned a positive rapid antigen test. (He) has since undertaken a PCR test and is currently isolating.”
Harry Brook ($72k BAT) and Jordan Thompson ($81k BAT/BWL) were ruled out of the Hurricanes’ game with the Strikers “through an abundance of caution, having spent significant time with someone who has since tested positive to COVID-19.”