BBL Covid news: Hilton Cartwright makes sad admission as virus ravages Melbourne Stars
An Australian all-rounder has revealed the worrying effect the growing Covid outbreak is having as cases surge around the country.
Cricket star Hilton Cartwright says he’s “never felt more vulnerable” as the Big Bash League (BBL) pushes on despite a surge in positive Covid-19 cases.
The all-rounder — who has played two Test matches for Australia — admits constant uncertainty around the situation has taken a toll on his mental health as the virus decimates his BBL team the Melbourne Stars.
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Twelve Stars players have tested positive, which left the franchise scrambling to even field a team for its past two games as grade players were promoted at short notice and players from around the country flown interstate to make up a starting XI.
Multiple players at other teams have also tested positive and there remains uncertainty about how long the domestic T20 competition will be able to continue.
Speaking after the Stars’ loss to cross-town rivals the Renegades on Monday night, Cartwright reflected on the difficulties he’s had getting his mind right to focus on cricket with so much Covid-related chaos going on around him.
“I’ve never felt more vulnerable to a virus in my entire life and I never realised how much it was going to affect my mental state,” Cartwright said.
“I’ve had form slumps and this ranks right up there with how I actually feel about going about my business day-to-day.
“Myself and my wife have basically been locked up in our room, not sure if we’re capable of catching the lift in case someone in there might have caught (COVID-19).
“Constantly, it’s on your mind and then you’ve got to walk out there and perform in one of the biggest pressure stages in the world.
“My mental state wasn’t in a great place about coming to your workplace and Covid is basically running rampant.
“I was really battling that throughout the day but once it got to about 4pm, all I was doing was trying to focus on the game.”
Cartwright said if the BBL outbreak gets any worse, it’ll be tough for the competition to carry on.
“We’ve got through these two games … I honestly can’t see it getting worse without the competition literally being put on hold,” he said.
Renegades fast bowler Kane Richardson empathised with the Stars, saying: “If we were in that position with 12 guys out, I don’t know how we would put a team out on the park.
“So hats off to them, but it doesn’t quite feel right.
“As players, we’re all a bit unsure at the moment, and we’re trying our best not to get the virus, but if we do, we don’t know what the go is.”
There has been talk Cricket Australia may consider putting all BBL teams in a Melbourne hub to ensure the season can continue.