One city BBL plan gathers support

Adrian Warren |

Support is growing for the COVID-stricken BBL to relocate to a single city or state, as the competition battles to keep going and stay ahead of the surge in cases.

A positive COVID test for a member of the Melbourne Stars’ support staff forced the postponement of their game last Thursday against Perth Scorchers at Marvel Stadium. 

Sydney Thunder’s game against Adelaide Strikers went ahead the following day despite four members of the Thunder’s squad returning positive PCR tests for COVID.

A story on the Fox Cricket website on Saturday said Cricket Australia was canvassing the possibility of moving the six non-Victorian franchises to Melbourne for the last two weeks of the regular season.

Venues in Victoria which potentially could be used are the MCG, Marvel Stadium, St Kilda Cricket Ground and Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium.

The Fox Cricket report said one potential hurdle could be existing contracts with other venues including Adelaide Oval, the Gabba, the SCG and Sydney Showground and that tickets had already been sold for games in January,

Players and pundits on Saturday were supportive of the idea of relocating teams and having the competition based in one area.

Brisbane Heat captain Jimmy Peirson had no qualms about potentially relocating to Victoria in order to keep the competition going. 

“I think it’s inevitable that something like that might happen,” Peirson said on Fox Cricket.

“Some form of hub or bubble similar to last year where we can maintain a relative amount of safety and make sure cricket gets played. 

“It is just one of those things as players we need to be ready for.”

Speaking on Fox Cricket, former players Brad Haddin and Mike Hussey said moving to one city made sense.

“What we’ve seen with the Stars and we were lucky to get game last night with the Thunder, it makes for common sense to have everyone in the same spot,” Haddin said.

His view was shared by Hussey.

“I think common sense would suggest bringing the whole competition to one city and I think it’s Melbourne,” Hussey said.

“There are four really good grounds here in Melbourne… That way it gives you flexibility with the schedule.

“That way, if there is a team that has a few cases and that has to sit out, then you can chop and change the schedule.”