Australian and Melbourne Stars spinner Adam Zampa has been given special exemption to drive to and from his home near Byron Bay to the new Big Bash hub on the Gold Coast.
But Adelaide Strikers captain Alex Carey, fast bowler Harry Conway and Stars batsman Nic Maddinson have been caught up in Queensland border closures and won’t be available for their team’s next games.
Carey and Conway couldn’t get in to Queensland for Wednesday night’s clash with the Brisbane Heat because they played in the Australia A game in Sydney earlier this month.
The Queensland border restrictions, which shut out anyone who had been in any part of New South Wales from December 11, came into effect at 1am, December 21.
Several others who played in match, including Heat bowler Mark Steketee, were able to beat the border closure but Carey and Conway were playing on Sunday night in Hobart and couldn’t get out in time.
Steketee said it was a tough break for Carey, but saw the positives for the Heat.
“Might be good for us. He’s a pretty handy player,” Steketee said.
“Obviously you want to play against the best so it’s disappointing at the same time.
“He’s been a very good pickup for them over the last couple of seasons … It’s always nice to play against those players and I’m sure he’s pretty disappointed that he can’t be here as well.”
Maddinson was also unable to get on the charter flight organised by Cricket Australia.
“All three players were members of the Australia A squad who departed Sydney on December 14 after their match against India,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
“Each was unable to travel to Brisbane before the latest Queensland border restrictions came into effect at 1am, December 21.”
Carey and Conway instead flew to Adelaide and will be available for the Strikers game on December 28.
Veteran fast bowler Peter Siddle will captain the Strikers in Carey’s absence.
Maddinson will miss the Stars’ Boxing Day clash with the Sydney Sixers at Metricon Stadium and meet his teammates in Canberra for the game against the Sydney Thunder on December 29.
The swift movement by the Queensland government made applying for exemptions too hard a task.
But the Stars did obtain one for Zampa, who was given leave by the team after being on the road since August.
Zampa, who lives in Byron Bay, wants to drive to the green team’s new Gold Coast base, but his movements could yet be impacted by the border restrictions.
“We have applied for all the exemptions and they have been approved which is nice. Adam needed time away, he’s been going non-stop since May. It’s nice for him to recharge his batteries,” Stars coach Dave Hussey said.
“His preference is to stay home, but we are not really sure about the border closures. I’ll be encouraging him to stay with us when he can, but we’ll have to get some advice on that.
“There was a lot of one-on-one chats with them to see how they are going and you could actually see they are pretty tired.
“It was just a matter of them getting through the first couple of games and then they could recharge. Hopefully they come back bigger and better players.”
Stars captain Glenn Maxwell will rejoin the team on the Gold Coast on Christmas Eve and will, along with Zampa, play in the Boxing Day clash with the Sixers, a rematch of last year’s BBL final.
But Marcus Stoinis won’t play, as he is being given extra time with his family in Perth.