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New South Wales depart early for Sheffield Shield after Sydney Covid-19 cases

Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon are part of New South Wales’ Sheffield Shield squad that will depart earlier than planned for the hub in Adelaide following a return of Covid-19 cases around Sydney.

On Wednesday, three new cases of community transmission were confirmed ending a 12-day run of zero cases outside of hotel quarantine in New South Wales.

There is currently an open border between New South Wales and South Australia so Peter Nevill’s squad will head into the Shield hub on Thursday to avoid any potential tightening of restrictions.

The defending champions do not start their campaign until October 22 with their first-round match against Victoria pushed back to mid-November due to the need for Victoria’s players to undergo 14 days quarantine in Adelaide.

While it is yet to be confirmed how many games Starc will play ahead of the international season, which is due to begin in late November, coach Phil Jaques was hopeful than Lyon would be available for all the Shield matches in the first block of fixtures.

Starc, Lyon and Sean Abbott recently completed two weeks quarantine in Adelaide following their return from the limited-overs tour of England but were able to train at Adelaide Oval during that time.

Chris Tremain, who moved from Victoria over the winter, is included in the squad as is 18-year-old legspinner Tanveer Sangha.

“At times when you win a Shield, there can be a little bit of complacency within the camp, I’ve seen it in teams I’ve played in, but I certainly haven’t seen it at all through this whole off-season,” Jaques said.

“There continues to be a real hunger to keep improving and take our cricket to the next level. [During the preseason] we were operating in groups anywhere from four up to full squad training, but changing weekly, so the guys have had to be really adaptable throughout the preseason.

“I can’t commend them enough for how adaptable they’ve been to get a really good body of work done and be as prepared as we are.”

New South Wales squad Peter Nevill (capt), Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Kurtis Patterson, Moises Henriques, Daniel Solway, Jason Sangha, Matthew Gilkes, Sean Abbott, Trent Copeland, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain, Nathan Lyon, Liam Hatcher, Harry Conway, Jack Edwards, Tanveer Sangha

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