Cricket Australia is working with the IPL to organise how they will get injured allrounder Mitchell Marsh back home where he will then have to quarantine for two weeks as he begins his rehabilitation from the ankle problem that curtailed his tournament after just one match.
Under normal circumstances the logistics would be simple with Marsh getting a flight back to Western Australia as soon as possible, but in the Covid-19 landscape there is significantly reduced commercial air travel and government-enforced restrictions on getting back to Australia. When the players travelled from the UK after the limited-overs tour they shared a private charted flight with the England cohort.
If Marsh is to return directly to Perth he will have to get exemption from the Western Australian government then quarantine for two weeks. The other option is he could fly to Adelaide and be based at the hotel at the ground where the members of the Australia squad who came straight back from the UK are currently doing their quarantine period.
However, under the latter arrangement Marsh would then have to do a further two weeks isolation in Perth when he returns home as Western Australia currently has a hard border to all other states.
Marsh injured his ankle in his opening over of the IPL playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Royal Challenges Bangalore in Dubai. He could only send down four deliveries and though he hobbled out to bat at No. 10 subsequent scans confirmed the fears expressed by the Sunrisers’ captain David Warner that his tournament was over.
A CA spokesman said at this early stage the aim was for Marsh to play in the Sheffield Shield which is set to start early next month. There are due to be four rounds of the tournament played in an Adelaide-based hub at three grounds in the city ahead of the start of the international summer.
That is set to begin with white-ball matches against India in late November – which are expected to be in Brisbane – before the first of four Tests starting around December 17 with the opening game of the series also slated for Adelaide. The India schedule is awaiting final sign-offs at government level.
The Sheffield Shield programme will give up to seven members of Australia’s likely Test starting XI – Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon – a chance to tune up their red-ball skills.