England all-rounder Tom Curran has withdrawn from Australia’s Big Bash League after suffering with fatigue from playing in the bio-secure bubble during the coronavirus pandemic.
Curran’s decision to leave the competition follows on from fellow England teammate Tom Banton’s withdrawal from BBL side Brisbane Heat, calling into question the welfare of cricket players and the mental toll of the COVID-19 bubble.
The 25-year-old was due to head from the on-going tour in South Africa to Australia, where he would have been required to quarantine for two weeks, however, having already spent six months in bio-secure environments in England and the Indian Premier League (IPL), he has made the decision to leave.
“I'm really sorry not to be playing in this year's Big Bash,” started Curran. “As you'll already know, it's been a very challenging year and I've been in [bio-security] bubbles since July.
“I will hopefully be back for many years to come, recharged and ready to go again, but for now I just need some time, normality, see family and be home.”
Sixers general manager Jodie Hawkins supported the decision made by player who was the top wicket-taker last season.
“The varying conditions we are asking our players to play cricket in worldwide is taking its toll and we understand Tom’s need for a break over this BBL season,” she said.
“While the hub conditions here are much less restrictive than other tournaments, the constant requirement to lock down has been tough and our number-one priority is the welfare of our players.
“Tom is an integral member of the Sixers family and we just want the best for him. We look forward to seeing him here next season.”
Australian international Mitchell Starc is one of a number of players who have commented on their concerns for living in bio-secure bubbles for months at a time, claiming that it is “not a sustainable lifestyle”.
Author: Jake Wilkin