Border closure, COVID-19 force changes in WNCL schedule
Queensland Fire are the champions of WNCL 2020-21 © Getty Images
Cricket Australia (CA) has announced the adjusted schedule for the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL), originally scheduled to begin on December 16. Border restrictions between Western Australia and South Australia have forced a change, and now the ODI competition will start on December 17 with defending champions Queensland taking on Tasmania in Hobart.
Two fixtures between Western Australia and South Australia scheduled in the WACA Ground on December 17 and December 19 have been postponed. These fixtures will now be played on March 1 and March 3 at the same venue. CA were forced to reschedule some matches between the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, and New South Wales after a player in an ACT high-performance program tested positive to COVID-19.
Peter Roach, Cricket Australia’s Head of Operations, reiterated CA’s commitment towards the 29-match season of the WNCL. “The safety and wellbeing of players, match officials, staff, and fans remains our top priority as we endeavour to deliver the entire 29-game WNCL season,” he said.
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“We look forward to the WNCL getting underway safely next week and thank the States and Territories for their flexibility and understanding as we navigate scheduling challenges.”
Earlier, the start of the WNCL tournament was postponed from September to December due to state border restrictions. According to a report by cricket.com.au, the Australia internationals would be available for the first half of the WNCL before taking up national duties in the lead-up to the Ashes and the World Cup in New Zealand. The tournament provides them with the best platform to get some ample game time ahead of their World Cup campaign which starts on March 4, 2022.
All the matches in the tournament will be live streamed on the Cricket Australia app and the website for the first time.