Uncertainty looms over WBBL 2021 after Covid-19 enforces Hobart lockdown

Uncertainty looms over WBBL 2021 after Covid-19 enforces Hobart lockdown

Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein stated that the government is working to prepare a contingency plan.

WBBL - Scorchers v Strikers
Sophie Devine. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) is in a bit of turmoil after the Tasmania city Hobart, the venue for the coming weekend’s fixtures has been put under a three-day lockdown as a Covid-19 positive case emerged in the state recently.

The weekend doubleheader is scheduled at the Bellerive Oval, where the Hobart Hurricanes are set to face the Melbourne Renegades in the Saturday afternoon clash before the Adeliade Strikers play the Sydney Thunder in the evening. The Hurricanes are then in line to play Sixers on Sunday morning before the Brisbane Heat play the Perth Scorchers in the evening.

Keeping aside Scorchers, who were scheduled to reach Hobart from Perth on October 15 for the first fixture on Sunday, all the teams are currently in the city. However, the latest development means the Scorchers will stay back, having delayed their travel by 24 hours.

The first 20 encounters this season are scheduled in Hobart, before the action shifts to Adelaide, Perth and Mackay in Queensland. There has been no official word as yet on whether the itinerary will be tweaked following the Covid-19 scenario.

“The Weber Women’s Big Bash League acknowledges the decision of the Tasmanian Government to call a three-day lockdown in the interests of public health,” the WBBL stated from Friday afternoon stated.

“The health and safety of our players, staff, match officials and partners, along with that of the wider community, remains our top priority.

“We are currently working with the Tasmanian Government on options for the upcoming Weber WBBL|07 matches at Blundstone Arena, Hobart this weekend.

“All players, staff and match officials in Tasmania for the Weber WBBL have received COVID-19 vaccinations and received the required negative COVID-19 test results. All are currently participating in training at Blundstone Arena or at team hotels.”

Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein stated that the government is working to prepare a contingency plan, while also ensuring that the security and health of all stakeholders remain uncompromised. He confirmed that the games will be held behind closed doors.

“Bearing in mind there are national and international matters to consider here in terms of the broadcast, if they do go ahead they would go ahead with no crowd and with the players remaining in a bubble,” Gutwein said in a virtual presser.