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Sporting fixtures postponed as COVID-19 outbreaks impact leagues

Sporting fixtures postponed as COVID-19 outbreaks impact leagues
December 31, 2021

Holiday season sporting fixtures are being severely impacted by Australia’s current COVID-19 with A-League and Big Bash League fixtures cancelled and the fourth Ashes Test also affected.

All but one of A-League Men's games over the New Year's Day weekend - Wellington Phoenix's visit to Adelaide United - have been postponed, with the last night’s Western Sydney-Western United match also called off.

The Sydney FC v Perth Glory had previously been postponed due to the Glory having to isolate in Queensland after a player tested positive, with the squad having now returned to Western Australia.

In addition, Melbourne City's scheduled A-League Women's game against the Newcastle Jets on 2nd January has also been postponed due to fresh positives at the Victorian club.

Under A-League rules fixtures can be postponed if at least five players are unavailable due to COVID-19 diagnoses.

In a statement, A-Leagues advised “the A-Leagues' protocols continue to be effective for screening and subsequent PCR testing in detecting the virus and ensuring immediate isolation.

"We will continue to work with all clubs involved to confirm new schedules for the postponed matches as soon as possible."

In cricket, last night’s Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Stars and the Perth Scorchers at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium was postponed after a COVID-19 case in the Stars camp.

Cricket Australia's General Manager of the Big Bash Leagues, Alistair Dobson, said the decision was the only option, advising “while regrettable, the decision to postpone (the) match was the only option available, given the exposures within the Stars cohort.

"The League has a number of biosecurity protocols in place to keep our participants safe and the competition moving forward.

"These protocols are regularly reviewed in response to the risks in each state. Safety remains our number one priority and we will work with the Stars to get their side back on the field as soon as possible."

It has also been confirmed that Ashes match referee David Boon will miss the fourth Test, which begins next Wednesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground, after testing positive for COVID-19.

The former Australian Test legend will be replaced for the Test by Steve Bernard, who is on the international panel of International Cricket Council referees.

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