Two Meteors players have been forced to withdraw from Thursday's season opener against the NSW Breakers at Manuka Oval as they await COVID test results.
It's forced coach Jono Dean to add potential debutants Kayla Burton and Grace Lyons to his 13-strong squad in place of vice captain Erica Kershaw, and Rebecca Carter.
Extra COVID protocols will be in place for the Women's National Cricket League clash, including no hugging or high-fiving teammates on field, and no face to face media interaction.
"In addition to our existing COVID-19 protocols we have now added an extra layer of precautionary measures including requiring all players to submit a negative rapid antigen test prior to play, and limiting the physical contact between players of both teams," Cricket ACT head of high performance Josh O'Brien said.
"Our priority is of course our players and support staff and ensuring we are providing them with whatever support they need during this period.
"We always knew there was a possibility of further disruptions due to COVID-19, and I praise our players and coaching staff for their flexibility and adaptability in the face of these challenges."
The COVID-enforced withdrawals have paved the way for left-arm tweaker Alisha Bates to make her WNCL debut.
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She'll do so against a high-powered NSW side which includes Australian stars Alyssa Healy, Rachael Haynes and Ashleigh Gardner.
"The competition is so level at the moment, any team you come up against is a pretty tough competition," Meteors captain Angela Reakes said.
"The international experience within most teams is pretty even these days. It is nice to play NSW but to be honest it'll be just like another game for us.
"A lot of girls didn't really leave their houses over the last two weeks just to make sure they could get on the park on Thursday."
THURSDAY: WNCL ACT Meteors v NSW Breakers at Manuka Oval, 10am
James is a Queanbeyan boy enjoying his second stint at the Canberra Times, more than eight years on from his first. In between he's traveled the world, and spent time covering sport in Sydney.
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