Smith’s cruel Christmas heartbreak

Australian batsman Steve Smith will unfortunately have to wait a bit longer to reunite with his wife Dani Willis following four months in biosecurity bubbles.

Since the 31-year-old departed for England in August, he has been locked away in a series of “bubbles” across three continents.

Following a white-ball series against England, Smith competed in the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates before returning to Australia for the home summer against India.

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Last week, Smith posted on Instagram: “114 days down and only 7 to go! It’s been a long 4 1/2 months away from my wife … but I can’t wait for her to join me in Melbourne next week just in time for Christmas!”

But in a cruel twist, the recent spike of coronavirus cases in New South Wales has prevented the couple from reuniting before Christmas.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CI2P1KZpy4d/

A post shared by Steve Smith (@steve_smith49)

As revealed by The Daily Telegraph’s Ben Horne, Willis rushed into Melbourne before Victoria’s border closed to the Greater Sydney area on Sunday evening.

However, Cricket Australia’s understandably strict biosecurity protocols has stopped her from joining the Australian Test squad’s bubble ahead of the Boxing Day Test.

Players and their loved ones were previously allowed to enter the bubble after a three-day quarantine, but the surge in COVID-19 cases forced CA to change its protocols this week.

Opening batsman David Warner and pace bowler Sean Abbott also travelled to Melbourne ahead of the second Test against India, but were also unable to rejoin the squad.

Warner is still recovering from a groin injury sustained during the one-day series against India, but will hopefully be fit to play in the New Year’s Test.

Steve Smith of Australia.Source:Getty Images

The latest COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney has forced CA to rethink its schedule for the rest of the Border-Gavaskar series – and Cricket NSW has pitched a brazen solution.

Faced with the prospect of losing the traditional New Year’s Test at the SCG, New South Wales officials are now hoping to host two Test matches, poaching the final fixture from the Gabba.

Cricket NSW are eyeing the fourth match of the series because of the potential for Queensland to keep its borders shut to Sydney.

In that scenario a second pink ball match would be held at the SCG from January 15 – a move that it’s been suggested would be ticked off willingly by India because of the spin-friendly conditions on offer.

– with Jai Bednall

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