Melbourne Stars’ campaign in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) 2021-22 went from bad to worse as their skipper Glenn Maxwell has now tested positive for COVID-19. Maxwell has become the 13th player from the Melbourne Stars to test positive.
Maxwell was on Wednesday (January 5) morning confirmed to have returned a positive rapid antigen test following the Melbourne derby against the Renegades on Monday (January 3) and is now awaiting the results of a PCR test.
The Stars’ COVID-19 outbreak forced them to turn to club cricketers and overlooked state-contracted players to field a team for games against Perth Scorchers (on Sunday) and the Renegades on consecutive days.
There was a further setback when Tom Rogers, a leading Premier Cricket performer who impressed on debut against the Scorchers, also tested positive, as did the man he opened the batting with, Joe Clarke.
The Melbourne Stars can confirm that Glenn Maxwell has returned a positive rapid antigen test.
— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) January 5, 2022
The mandated seven-day isolation for most Stars players to contract the virus in the initial outbreak will end in the coming days, meaning the likes of Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Coulter-Nile should bolster their side for their next match, scheduled to be against the Adelaide Strikers on Friday.
That is presuming those players have not only been cleared of the virus, but are then also fit and able to perform at match intensity after spending a full week in isolation. Hilton Cartwright, one of only a few leading Stars players who has managed to avoid contracting COVID, admitted the outbreak has been an immense mental challenge.
“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 told cricket.com.au.