Tasmania is extremely well placed to host a Big Bash League Hub this summer and it’s incumbent on the stakeholders to ensure it happens.
Cricket Australia is reportedly exploring options for several hubs to host stages of its flagship domestic tournament throughout summer, with Launceston and Hobart’s premier stadiums heavily in the running.
It makes sense for Tasmania to host the Twenty20 league’s six teams for several weeks with UTAS Stadium and Bellerive Oval only a couple of hours apart.
The concept of the two stadiums hosting almost a nightly match for two or three weeks would be a major boost too for the morale of Tasmanians who have endured an endless stream of COVID-19 cancelled event announcements with restrictions too prohibitive to proceed. Plus, it would show that cricket honchos still care about the sport’s support on the Apple Isle after excluding Tasmania from its Test venue roster annually. There are, however, going to be some hurdles to overcome. The obvious one is the government’s border control stance following December 1.
Premier Peter Gutwein has been steadfast in his approach to date, while many are hoping there will be some flexibility to allowing in and outbound traffic before Christmas.
And most Tasmanians wouldn’t begrudge officials for providing leeway to BBL players and support staff on the proviso they had not been in a coronavirus hotspot for a fortnight beforehand.
The state’s crowd limitations of 500 people would also be problematic, but Visit Northern Tasmania chief executive Chris Griffin’s suggestion of zones at stadiums is not unrealistic. It is something that should be explored considering Tasmania has had no active cases for several months and the people attending matches would be mainly Tasmanians.
The state’s officials have done a great job in keeping the virus relatively under control in Tasmania, however, there comes a time when we must crawl out from under the blanket, learn to live with a new reality and move forward. Allowing the BBL to take place would go along way to showing that Tasmania was back in business.