More Covid chaos hits BBL with Brisbane Heat game postponed

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Glenn Maxwell also became the 13th Stars player to test positive

The BBL has been thrown into more chaos with Wednesday night’s match between Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers postponed after 12 Heat players and a coach returned positive PCR tests to Covid-19.

Heat were unable to find enough replacement players in time forcing the clash at Metricon Stadium to be called off and rescheduled at a later date.

They were originally due to take on Sixers on Tuesday before Perth Scorchers were swapped in at the last minute when Heat’s Covid issues first emerged.

“We acknowledge the wholehearted efforts of the Brisbane Heat to field a team tonight,” BBL general manager Alistair Dobson said in a statement. “However, in the time available it was not possible for them to secure the 13 players required, hence the decision to postpone the match.”

Heat’s game against Melbourne Renegades in Geelong on Thursday remains scheduled to go ahead with remaining players and staff to take a charter flight from the Gold Coast tomorrow morning.

“We are working hard now to finalise preparations for the next week for the squad, including those who are currently isolating or ill, and to secure a playing group to compete in matches in that time frame,” Queensland Cricket chief executive Terry Svenson said.

Wednesday’s earlier game between Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes at the Adelaide Oval will start an hour later.

Heat have become the latest BBL team ravaged by Covid-19, which has raised the possibility of the entire competition being moved to a hub in Melbourne.

Earlier on Wednesday, Melbourne Stars confirmed captain Glenn Maxwell returned a positive rapid antigen test for Covid-19 following their loss to Melbourne Renegades on Monday night.

Maxwell has since undertaken a PCR test and is currently isolating while awaiting the result. Maxwell is the 13th Stars player to contract Covid-19 after 12 others and eight staff members were also struck down.

Maxwell captained a depleted Stars team in their last two fixtures against Scorchers and Renegades with the team supplemented by replacement players and coached by a stand-in coaching staff.

Up to 10 players and eight coaching staff are set to come out of isolation for Stars’ next match against Adelaide Strikers on Friday.

Renegades also confirmed on Wednesday that a member of its squad returned a positive rapid antigen test to Covid-19 and as a precaution the team’s afternoon training session was cancelled.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth