The Big Bash League (BBL) authorities on Friday confirmed that three matches of the BBL 2020-21 will be moved from Sydney to Manuka Oval in Canberra owing to state border closures.
The three games that will be moved from Sydney to Canberra are as below:
January 13: Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers, originally scheduled to be played at Sydney Showground Stadium
January 16: Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers, originally scheduled to be played at Sydney Cricket Ground
January 18: Sydney Thunder v Hobart Hurricanes, originally scheduled to be played at Sydney Showground Stadium
An official release said:
“The decision has been made in line with Cricket Australia’s commitment to giving all formats and competitions the best chance of completing a full season.”
BBL 2020-21 matches moved to ensure continuation of event despite ongoing public health situation
Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s Head of Big Bash Leagues, explained the decision to move the three matches from Sydney to Canberra. He stated it is to ensure the continuation of the BBL season despite the ongoing public health situation and related state border closures.
“We understand this will be disappointing news for the thousands of passionate Sixers and Thunder members and fans in Sydney. We want those fans to know that we greatly appreciate their support and know they’ll be tuning in to cheer their teams on.
He further said:
“The logistical complexities of the BBL, with multiple movements of multiple groups across multiple state borders, means moving these games gives us the best possible chance of executing a full season.”
Dobson also explained that BBL’s case is different from the India-Australia Test series, which requires much lesser movements across state borders to organise a full series.
Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon admitted that there is disappointment at losing the games, but added that they tried their best to keep the matches at Sydney. Germon said:
“Along with CA and other partners we did all we could to keep the matches at the SCG and Sydney Showgrounds Stadium because we know how much our fans and supporters love attending Sixers and Thunder matches.”
He further stated:
“Although our teams are not playing these matches in Sydney I know our players have greatly appreciated the support they have received throughout the BBL already and both clubs will do all we can to repay that faith and support from our fans".