Melbourne Stars skipper Glenn Maxwell has detailed the toll of living inside a biosecurity bubble for five months after his side crashed out of the Big Bash in an “upsetting” loss on Tuesday night.
The Stars missed the finals for just the second time in 10 BBL seasons after a lacklustre season ended with a flat loss to the Sydney Sixers on Tuesday night.
Maxwell, who has been inside biosecurity hubs or bubbles since Australia departed for its UK tour in late August, said it had been a draining period for everyone playing through the COVID-19 impacted season.
“It’s hard work being in a hub non-stop,” he said.
“We had the Melbourne lockdown since March, straight into the bubble in England, bubble in IPL, bubble in Australia with 14 days quarantine, then bubble and hub here (in the BBL). So it’s been a long time, and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing my family and probably not thinking about cricket for a couple of days.”
It will be only a short break from the bubble for Maxwell who will tour New Zealand next month for five T20s against the Kiwis, with more restrictions likely.
Maxwell’s Big Bash rival but national teammate and friend, Melbourne Renegades and Australian white-ball captain Aaron Finch, had already declared he needed a good break before that tour, having spent just 21 days since April outside either a lockdown or biosecurity bubble.
“We’ve got the T20 series against New Zealand, and I’m not really sure what happens after that,” Maxwell said.
“I haven’t really thought too far ahead. I’m probably just thinking about the next 10 days, sitting on the couch chilling out.”
Maxwell said the need to escape the bubble wasn’t just about getting away from cricket.
“Just seeing my family, being able to give them a hug. That’ll be nice,” he said.
The Stars skipper said Tuesday’s loss was a missed opportunity, and he rued how the game eventuated as the Sixers easily chased the Stars’ “bash boost” total of 72 after 10 overs that spelled the end of the Stars’ campaign.
“(It’s) pretty upsetting. We got thrown a lifeline and unfortunately I didn’t win the toss. That’s probably a big (reason) of losing the game … I think being able to chase and know what you have to get in the first 10 is a big key.”
Despite the result, which came after the Stars were beaten by the Sixers in last year’s final, Maxwell said he had again enjoyed the captaincy role.
“I absolutely love the role. Being able to lead this team, they’re a great bunch of people,” he said
This BBL season marks the first time that neither Melbourne side will feature in the Big Bash finals.