Movement of WBBL matches suggests Ashes boycott could be round the corner

WBBL

Ollie Phillips

The first twenty matches of the Women's Big Bash League are to be held in Tasmania due to COVID-enforced border closures, ESPN Cricinfo has reported. The tournament was set to begin in Sydney on October 14, but will instead see its curtain-raiser hosted by Blundstone Arena on the same date, when the Sydney Sixers play the Melbourne Stars.

It is just the first two weeks that have been amended so far, but reports suggest the rest of the competition is likely to be affected. Tasmania is accessible from Queensland, where those taking part in Australia's series with India will be permitted to travel from and assume an immediate role in the tournament. A two-week hard quarantine will be enforced upon those arriving from New South Wales, but travellers from Victoria will be able to break up their quarantine with training sessions.

The news comes amidst fears over England's players boycotting the upcoming Ashes series down under. It has been reported that expectations over the ECB's leniency surrounding the potential postponement of the Test matches have proved unfounded, with the board determined that the series goes ahead. Given the players' fears over strict quarantines and the ability of their families to travel with them, the complications involving the domestic WBBL will do little to ease their concerns.