Queensland’s home Sheffield Shield clash in Brisbane has been postponed until later this season after Tasmania elected to fly home due to COVID-19 concerns.
The hosts were set to begin their title defence against the Tigers at Ian Healy Oval on Tuesday.
However, it was announced just before the scheduled toss that the start of the four-day game would be delayed 24 hours.
About an hour later the match was officially postponed after it was revealed Tasmania had decided to return to Hobart amid lockdown fears.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Tuesday that four new locally acquired coronavirus cases had been recorded in Brisbane but did not announce any immediate restrictions – other than masks being mandatory in indoor settings.
Officials were hopeful Tasmania would still contest their scheduled one-day clash with Queensland on Sunday at Ian Healy Oval.
But it remains to be seen if the Tigers will return due to their health concerns.
It is believed Tasmania were worried about potential border closures, prompting their decision to fly home.
“Cricket Tasmania has made the decision to return their Tasmanian Tigers Marsh Sheffield Shield and one-day squads to Tasmania today,” a Cricket Tasmania statement said.
“This is not a decision that was taken lightly.
“While the situation in Queensland hasn’t prevented the match from commencing today, a cautious and considered approach is being taken and it is our strong opinion that we are better having our players and staff home as we build a better understanding of the current landscape.
“We look forward to playing the Queensland Bulls at the first opportunity.
“We thank Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia for their understanding and flexibility with this match postponement and we hope that this preventative measure will, with hindsight, not have been required.”
Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the match had been postponed due to Tasmania’s decision to return to Hobart.
“Cricket Australia advises that the Marsh Sheffield Shield match between Queensland and Tasmania at Ian Healy Oval, due to begin today, has been postponed,” a CA statement said.
“The match will be re-scheduled to a new date later in the season, following the Tasmanian team’s decision to fly home today.
“Further updates regarding the scheduled Marsh One-Day Cup match between the two sides, due to be played this Sunday, October 3, will be provided in due course.”
It is the latest disruption to the domestic cricket schedule.
Victoria and NSW are still working with CA and multiple state governments to find a temporary home for their Shield squads due to border restrictions and lockdowns.
As a result, only two Shield games had been scheduled to date, with the Bulls-Tigers clash one of them.
The four-day game between South Australia and Western Australia ended in a draw on Monday after they contested a one-day match last week, both in Adelaide.
The start of the domestic one-day competition had been delayed until the September 22 SA-WA game.Internet Explorer Channel Network