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COVID causes NSW to accelerate Shield move

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7th October, 2020
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NSW’s Sheffield Shield players are set to fly to Adelaide on Thursday, earlier than planned in a bid to bypass any potential COVID-19 issues.

The Blues had initially planned to fly into South Australia next week, but had a number of contingency options in place including leaving as late as October 19.

One of those alternatives included flying interstate at short notice if required, and was set in train by the confirmation of three cases in western Sydney on Wednesday.

The move from Cricket NSW is understood to ensure the team does not become caught up in any border-restriction changes, which have so far not been raised by either state.

Team officials were in discussions with the organisation’s chief medical officer throughout Wednesday before the decision was made late in the evening.

A number of the players’ families will also travel across into the bubble, prompting some significant last-minute planning.

Most state teams were already due to arrive in South Australia this week to begin a month-long stint in the bubble.

All matches for the first four rounds will be played in Adelaide, between this weekend and November 11.

Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia all begin their campaigns on Saturday.

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NSW and Victoria do not play their first match until October 22, allowing for Victoria to have two weeks in quarantine on their arrival in South Australia given case numbers in Melbourne.

Cricket Australia have worked extensively to get the first-class season off the ground, with the schedule for the first four rounds before the Big Bash only announced last month.

© AAP