Former Australia captain, Steve Smith has ruled out of the upcoming Big Bash League which is scheduled to get underway from December 10, citing concerns over prolonged stay in a bio-secure bubble in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Star Australian cricketers including Smith have been in a bio-bubble since August when they toured England before moving to the bio-secure bubble of the IPL in September.
Steve Smith plays for Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League. But this year, he will not participate in the league to avoid spending more time in a bio-secure environment. Other star players, including David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are likely to follow suit, according to reports.
“I’ll be honest with you – absolutely no chance,” Smith said when asked about his chances of playing in the BBL when speaking to News Corp.
In the 13th edition of Indian Premier League, players and support staff were in quarantine before entering bio-secure bubbles in the UAE. The players have been following strict protocols, limiting physical interaction with fellow teammates.
Steve Smith said players, coaches and the team management should have open conversations about the demands of bio-secure bubbles and the need to give players adequate breaks while also keeping in mind the selection issues.
“It’s still early days with the bubbles. We don’t know how long it’s going to last for. There’s an uncertainty there. It’s just going to be about having open conversations with coaches, general managers, whoever, to ensure that people are keeping their headspace in a reasonable place.
“Then there’s obviously going to be questions around the selection. If someone takes some time off because they’ve been in the bubble for a long time and then someone comes in and plays well, do they take their spot?
Smith further said that a player needs to spend some time normally to get out of the mental trauma associated with life inside a bio-bubble.
“When guys are starting to find things a bit tough mentally from just living in the bubble, being able to get out – even if it might just be a few days of being normal might be a real help. Those conversations need to be had,” Smith said.