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The Perth Scorchers nightmare fixture went from bad to worse on Tuesday when its players and staff were stranded at Tullamarine Airport due to smoke haze.
Travelling from Hobart to Perth with a short stopover in Melbourne, the Scorchers found out the second leg of their flight was cancelled once they arrived at Tullamarine.
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The delay means they will not land in Perth until around 7pm local time, leaving barely 24 hours to recover and prepare to face the Melbourne Stars in a blockbuster clash on Wednesday night.
Ironically, the top-of-the-table Stars are already in Perth resting up before the big game. Star opening batsman Marcus Stoinis arrived in Perth earlier than his teammates to spend time with family.
The third-placed Scorchers have performed well despite a brutal travel itinerary which will see them return home after every away leg in the regular season.
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They defeated the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday night and overcame the struggling Melbourne Renegades on their previous away trip last week.
But all up, they will spend approximately 60 hours in the air and cross the Nullarbor 14 times in 39 days.
Compare that to the Renegades, which will spend 21 hours in transit throughout the BBL.
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Before the season started, second-year coach Adam Voges told foxsports.com.au he was concerned about the amount of “country hopping” his side was set to undertake.
“If there is one thing in the BBL I’d like to change it would be the schedule,” Voges said.
“We’d like a couple more away games in a row rather than country hopping the entire summer.”
Sydney Sixers coach Greg Shipperd echoed a similar sentiment when asked what he would like changed ahead of BBL 10.
“A two-day break between playing and travelling would be good,” he told foxsports.com.au pre-tournament.
“The competition was probably too long but maybe a few more days would allow that to happen. It might be the team who has the best depth will be the team that wins because the challenge of travel will provide some challenges to squads.”
In the past week alone, the Scorchers have played in Geelong, Perth and Melbourne, winning all three matches. They are the only Big Bash club that does not knock over at least two away games in the one trip at some stage during BBL 09.
The condensed schedule is a result of Cricket Australia’s new and largely improved BBL, which is a week-and-a-half shorter than last season’s edition and houses 15 double headers.
Cricket Australia made the adjustments after ample consultation with stakeholders.
The Scorchers are expected to lobby the governing body for a fairer travel schedule next summer.