WNCL gets rescheduled for second time after border closures

New South Wales won 20 out 24 titles in WNCL history. © Getty Images

The Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) suffered another blow after the first round of seven matches had to be rescheduled after the closure of borders due to rising cases of COVID-19 in Australia, according to reports in cricket.com.au.   

The matches which were earlier scheduled to begin on January 15 will now be played between February 28 and March 7. However, there has been no call on the second round of matches which are slated to begin on January 25. The final remains as scheduled on March 27.

NSW Breakers were to play their opening fixture against South Australia in Adelaide at the Karen Rolton Oval on January 15, but can’t enter after South Australia has strictly said NO to all those travelling from NSW.

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Their second game against ACT Meteors on January 19 also couldn’t happen because it has been put that anyone coming from Greater Sydney or other affected areas can’t enter the territory. The WNCL which usually starts in September has once been delayed and the latest one extends the action further for the players who played in the WBBL.

“The changes to the WNCL schedule have been made to give us the best possible chance of completing a full season,” Cricket Australia’s Head of Cricket Operations Peter Roach said. “We’d like to thank the State and Territory Associations, players, staff and the ACA for their flexibility and understanding as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic on our summer schedule.”

The WNCL features four rounds of matches with all the teams hosting games that will be completed in two and half months. The closure of borders means that the Breakers squad are currently stranded in Sydney and will have to be there until the restrictions ease.

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Earlier, India’s tour of Australia for a three-match ODI series in January was also postponed to next season so that it can play a crucial part in both the team’s preparation for the 2022 50-over World Cup in New Zealand.

Cricket Australia has been in talks with New Zealand Cricket regarding a proposed tournament in February or March to fill the gap left by the delayed tournament, with England also likely to be involved.

Rescheduled WNCL matches

Tasmania v Victoria – February 28

South Australia v NSW – February 28

Western Australia v ACT – February 28

Tasmania v Queensland – March 7

Western Australia v South Australia – March 3

ACT v NSW, EPC Solar Park – March 7

Victoria v Queensland – March 5