Cricket Australia has banned Big Bash League (BBL) players from going out for haircuts as a part of stricter Covid-19 protocols. The new protocols have been put in place in response to the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney.
The decision was made keeping in mind that the return of Warner and Abbott to the Australian squad would lead to a breach of the biosecure bubble according to new rules set by the states, and could potentially jeopardize the entire series.
The governing body has also tightened restrictions for BBL players amidst rising fears of the recent outbreak in New South Wales.
A CA Queensland hub protocols document dated December 21 states that personal appointments such as haircuts are no longer allowed. This is in contrast with an earlier version of the protocols from December 1, when such appointments were permitted provided that face masks were worn inside.
BBL players also barred from dining out
The stricter protocols put in place by Cricket Australia aims to safeguard BBL team personnel from mixing with members of the public, even in a relatively safe state of Queensland.
Fresh restrictions also include a ban on players dining out in both indoor and outdoor environments. Players and staff are still allowed to pick up take-away food if it has been pre-ordered but they are not allowed to do so in their team uniforms.
The BBL began with hubs in Canberra and Hobart and five teams have since been flown on a charter plane to Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
While tighter restrictions are put in place to ensure the safety of the players and other team personnel, the CA has faced significant backlash in the past for imposing confusing and strict protocols while the rest of the country enjoys greater freedom.
While the formation of biosecure bubbles to conduct a cricket tournament safely is now a necessity, it's long-term viability has been questioned from the very start. Several players have already pulled out of marquee tournaments after being subject to tough restrictions in biosecure bubbles.
It remains to be seen how long governing bodies can continue to conduct tournaments under stringent restrictions while also keeping the players happy.Published 24 Dec 2020, 18:48 IST