BBL in disarray as Melbourne Stars captain Maxwell tests COVID-positive

by IANS |

Melbourne, Jan 5 (IANS) Australian cricket team's limited-overs specialist and Big Bash League (BBL) side Melbourne Stars' captain Glenn Maxwell on Wednesday returned a positive test for COVID-19, becoming the 13th player from the club to contract the virus.

With the COVID-19 chaos continuing in the BBL, the Melbourne Renegades became the fifth club to report a COVID-19 case.

The BBL disclosed on Wednesday morning that the league's star attraction, Maxwell, had returned a positive rapid antigen test following the Melbourne derby against the Renegades on Monday and is now awaiting the results of a PCR test, according to cricket.com.au.

Within hours, BBL said that the Renegades had become the fifth club to report a positive case this season. Renegades have cancelled their training session on Wednesday.

In addition to the Stars and the Renegades, three other BBL sides have reported COVID-19 cases with Brisbane Heat being forced to pull out of their match against the Sydney Sixers on the Gold Coast on Tuesday. Perth Scorchers substituted for them.

The Melbourne Stars' outbreak has pushed them to turn to club cricketers and overlooked state-contracted players to field a team for games against Perth Scorchers (January 2) and the Renegades (January 3).

The Stars' key players, including Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Coulter-Nile, should return for the club's next match against the Adelaide Strikers on January 7 after completing their mandated seven-day isolation.

Leading Stars players Hilton Cartwright, who has managed to avoid contracting the virus, said the outbreak has affected his mental state.

"I've never felt more vulnerable to a virus in my entire life and I never realised how much it was going to affect my mental state," Cartwright was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"I've had form slumps and this ranks right up there with how I actually feel about going about my business day-to-day. Myself and my wife have basically been locked up in our room, not sure if we're capable of catching the lift in case someone in there might have caught (COVID-19).

"Constantly, it's on your mind and then you've got to walk out there and perform (on) one of the biggest pressure stages in the world," he said.

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