COVID-19 won’t stop the BBL this season as two players compete in Tuesday night’s opener while infected with the virus – and the competition set up a separate locker room for infected stars.
Melbourne Stars guns Joe Burns and Marcus Stoinis both tested positive for the virus in the hours leading up to the game but continued playing in their most recent ball loss to the Sydney Thunder.
It was a far cry from the stars’ January clash against Perth, one of the more bizarre games in BBL history, where they fielded an unrecognizable lineup after 10 players and eight staff contracted the virus.
Burns and Stoinis sat apart from their teammates while waiting for the shot, driving to the ground in a separate car and using their own dressing room.
Covid-positive Melbourne Stars players Joe Burns and Marcus Stoinis were forced to sit apart from their team-mates on Tuesday night
However, they were able to interact while on the field – as Burns proved when he was forced off injured during the game against the Sydney Thunder (pictured).
However, they were free to interact with other players on the field – which Burns did when he sustained an injury while batting.
The league intends to set up a third dressing room with COVID-infected players from both sides at all games this season to theoretically share facilities, but will not stop players from competing with the virus if they feel comfortable.
That was just part of a tough day for Burns, who injured his hamstring batting before retiring and leaving the floor for scans.
Stars captain Adam Zampa admitted it felt strange keeping teammates apart but said it had to be the norm to keep the competition going.
“It’s something we’re getting used to now, quite a lot has happened this summer through the World Cup,” he told reporters.
Burns hit 18 runs from 16 balls before he had to walk away with a hamstring injury
“We don’t even talk about it, it’s just a quick message these guys are positive and stay away.
“Burnsy had a tough day with the hamstring and that too, he’s going to be pretty flat I think and the same goes for ‘Stoin’, I don’t think he was quite ready with the ball and he would have been quite handy. ‘
Burns had hobbled through singles where possible, but eventually succumbed and died on March 18.
Stoinis put up no such resistance and looked out for a golden duck.
Stars skipper Adam Zampa (pictured) said the team doesn’t even talk about the presence of Covid-positive teammates at games
He wasn’t good enough to field or bowl later, instead watching the second innings from the boundary wrapped in a blanket after warming up as he transitioned from innings to bowl.
Zampa suspected the chilly weather in Canberra had overwhelmed him.
“I had COVID five or six weeks ago, it was freezing in Perth and I just remember feeling like the colder it got, the more I felt it, the more my body ached,” he said.
“The sun was out before the game so I’m sure he felt a little bit better but you don’t want to have COVID and be out in the cold.”
It’s unclear if Stoinis will assist for Friday night’s home game against Hobart, although Burns appears to be missing a certainty with his hamstring.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/big-bash-league-sets-up-bizarre-third-locker-room-that-can-only-be-used-by-stars-who-have-covid/ Big Bash League sets up bizarre third locker room for use only by stars with Covid