Sports News

Cricket: Australia confirms cross-country Big Bash as COVID-19 curbs ease

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia’s upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) will be a moving feast, with the domestic Twenty20 competition travelling across the country in a touring model as COVID-19 curbs ease.

Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday locked in the schedule for the opening 21 matches, with the first bracket from Dec. 10 starting in Tasmania state and Canberra before moving to Queensland and South Australia later in the month.

CA said it would confirm the schedule for the remaining 35 regular season matches and the finals series later.

“This is without doubt the most complex fixturing task ever undertaken by the League and we are excited with where it has landed,” CA’s BBL chief Alistair Dobson said in a statement.

“It has been a difficult year for so many people around Australia and we look forward to bringing the BBL to every state should border conditions allow us to.”

Australia’s states and territories have relaxed domestic travel and border controls as COVID-19 infections have slowed to a trickle.

The nation’s most populous state New South Wales said on Thursday it would reopen its border to southern Victoria state by the end of the month.

Victoria has had six consecutive days without any new cases of COVID-19 after containing a second wave with a four-month hard lockdown.

South Australia on Tuesday said it would also reopen its border to Victoria in two weeks.

The BBL is also expected to be boosted by crowds at stadiums.

A capped, sold-out crowd of 26,500 attended the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday for the opening “State of Origin” rugby league game between Queensland and New South Wales.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford