Melbourne hub for BBL finals openers
Murray Wenzel |
Minor premiers Perth Scorchers will play their first Big Bash League finals game at Marvel Stadium as the competition begins its post-season exclusively in Melbourne.
The decision was made to limit the risk of more COVID-19 disruptions after squads were hit hard by key omissions during the regular season.
All three week one finals games will be played in Victoria, beginning on Friday at the MCG when fourth meets fifth in the Eliminator.
The Scorchers, who were given the choice of Melbourne venues in a trade-off of sorts after a dominant season on top, will then play the second-placed side on Saturday.
Sunday’s return to the MCG will feature the third-place finishers against the winners of Friday’s knockout game.
The remaining finals matches, scheduled for January 26 and 28, will be held at the nominated home venues of the participating teams.
Only the Scorchers are locked in to their finals finishing position before Wednesday’s three remaining regular season games.
Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder, Hobart Hurricanes and Adelaide Strikers are all finals-bound but their places in the standings could fluctuate depending on results.
Teams have been primarily based in Victoria since January 10, officials electing to keep participants there to simplify logistics and reduce risks of more COVID-19 disruptions.
“The League’s firm belief is that we must work together with our clubs to do all we can to protect the finals series using the lessons from the season so far,” BBL boss Alistair Dobson said.
“This decision provides all participating clubs the best possible chance of participating in a finals match with the strongest squad available.”AAP