The Sydney Sixers’ plans for their blockbuster Qualifier final against the Perth Scorchers have been thrown into disarray just hours before the match.
Youngster Jack Edwards was forced out only 30 minutes before the bat flip, after brother Mickey, also on the Sixers’ list, returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test.
In further calamity, middle-order batter Daniel Hughes was injured tripping on the boundary rope in the team’s warm-up, to also be unavailable for the crunch match.
He hobbled off the field in clear discomfort and was replaced by Nicholas Bertus from the player replacement pool after Sixers captain Moises Henriques engaged in discussions with match referee Bob Stratford.
The Sixers didn’t have a batter among their two X-factor subs and were denied the services of superstar Steve Smith after an appeal to the BBL technical committee to have him included was rejected.
Edwards has been replaced by Jordan Silk, who has recovered from a hamstring injury.
The winner of the heavyweight clash will progress to the decider next Friday, while the loser will get another chance in the Challenger final on Australia Day against the winner of tomorrow’s Knockout between the Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers.
After losing last year’s finale against the Sixers, the Scorchers have won both head-to-head meetings against the men in magenta this season.
The Scorchers have made two changes from the team that cruised to victory over the Brisbane Heat at Marvel Stadium on Monday with paceman Jhye Richardson and England import Laurie Evans coming in.
They replace Lance Morris, who tested positive for COVID-19, and Aaron Hardie, who was omitted.