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BBL 2021-22: ECB presses panic button, orders six England players to return UK after record 16 players tests COVID positive in Big Bash League

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BBL 2021-22: ECB presses panic button, orders six England players to return UK after record 16 players tests COVID positive in Big Bash League – Big Bash League franchises are scrambling for options as England have recalled six superstars after a major rise in COVID-19 cases. The ECB has ordered the England players picked in the T20 squad to tour the West Indies later this month to leave Australia on January 7. Earlier, the English stars were asked to assemble in the UK by January, but that timeline was pushed up which has shocked several BBL franchises. Follow Insidesport.in for all BBL 2021-22 LIVE Updates. 

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BBL 2021-22: ECB presses panic button, orders six England players to return UK after record 16 players tests COVID positive in Big Bash League

As per reports, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have asked six players to return to the UK after the rise of COVID-19 cases in the ongoing BBL 2021-22 season. The six players that will have to fly out on Friday are Sam Billings (Sydney Thunder), George Garton (Adelaide Strikers), Tymal Mills (Perth Scorchers), Reece Topley (Melbourne Renegades), Saqib Mahmood (Sydney Thunder) and James Vince (Sydney Sixers), having been named in the squad for the tour of West Indies.

It is reported that BBL clubs were surprised to learn of the news, believing they’d have players for at least another seven to 10 days beyond January 7. The clubs are scrambling to find replacement players and attempting to work out exactly when their players would have to leave.

BBL 2021-22: ECB presses panic button, orders six England players to return UK after record 16 players tests COVID positive in Big Bash League

As things stand, Sunday’s game will be Sam Billings and Saqib Mahmood’s final appearance for the Sydney Thunder, along with George Garton was named an X-factor sub for the Adelaide Strikers for the same game. Tymal Mills is also in action for the Scorchers the same day and it could be his last outing as well.

Reece Topley has been named in the Renegade’s squad for Monday’s Melbourne derby, and it is yet to be seen whether Sixers star James Vince will sneak in one final match for the Sixers on Tuesday before departing.

Also Read: Ashes 2021 LIVE: Glenn McGrath feels there is too much bromance due to IPL & BBL, wants Joe Root’s England to be aggressive and play hard

Other English imports including the likes of Tom Abell and Ben Duckett (Brisbane Heat), Harry Brook and Jordan Thompson (Hobart Hurricanes), Joe Clarke (Melbourne Stars), Laurie Evans (Perth Scorchers) and Alex Hales (Sydney Thunder) will continue to feature having not been in name in England’s squad vs West Indies.

BBL 2021-22: ECB presses panic button, orders six England players to return UK after record 16 players tests COVID positive in Big Bash League

The move comes in with England’s Test team struggling to come to terms with the virus spread ahead of the fourth Test in Sydney. As many as five support staff including head coach Chris Silverwood and net bowlers have tested COVID-19 positive. Graham Thorpe has been handed coaching duties for the game while captain Joe Root was also seen giving throw downs during the practice sessions.

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