Covid could threaten Cricket Australia’s hopes of full domestic season

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All competitions have been scheduled in full with the Sheffield Shield due to start late September

Cricket Australia hopes to play all its domestic competitions in full during the 2020-21 summer, including one of the earliest starts to the Sheffield Shield, although plans could be threatened by Covid-19.

The Sheffield Shield and Marsh One-Day Cup will return to their full length – 31 and 22 matches respectively – after being trimmed last season due to the pandemic. The Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) will again consist of 29 matches.

Last season the WBBL and the first group of Sheffield Shield matches were held in hubs in Sydney and Adelaide respectively, but CA’s head of cricket operations Peter Roach said that would be a last resort this season with concerns over player welfare at the forefront of minds.

“We do know last year we successfully extended a little into April so there’s opportunities before we default to having to play in a hub,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “What we are conscious of is that it does have a negative effect on our players and staff. It’s a long season and one of the learnings from last year was that come the end of BBL that the appetite for a lot of cricket was challenged.”

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