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Adam Zampa: BBL derby 'taken the piss out of' by weakened squad amid Covid outbreak

The legspinner questioned whether CA has put the integrity of the competition at risk

Melbourne Stars will be without Glenn Maxwell for their next match  •  Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Melbourne Stars will be without Glenn Maxwell for their next match  •  Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Adam Zampa claims Cricket Australia has "taken the piss" out of the Melbourne Big Bash derby after he was one of 12 infected Stars unavailable for last week's loss to the Renegades.
Zampa will captain the Stars on return to the BBL on Monday after overcoming Covid-19, with a flat Stars camp to leave individual players to decide if they feel up to playing against Adelaide.
Only the infected Glenn Maxwell and injured Nathan Coulter-Nile are certain to miss, with the Stars last on the ladder after losing both games without the bulk of their squad.
Zampa admitted he did not know what the solution was for officials, who are determined to press on with the full 14-round tournament with all teams set for a Melbourne hub.
But he warned the integrity of the league had to be kept front of mind, with Brisbane Heat also having lost their last two games while under strength.
"The next question is when does when does the line get crossed?" Zampa said. "We've worked really on the brand of BBL and been really careful about how we go about BBL and making sure that it stays the same and we have fun playing it.
"Once that gets questioned, and once the integrity of the competition starts being in doubt, then I guess that's when the line gets crossed."
Zampa's chief concern centred around the Renegades clash, which has traditionally been one of the highest rated and attended matches of the competition.
"At the end of the day, the broadcasters have had the last say with Cricket Australia," Zampa said. "Obviously the derby day scheduled for January 3, you would think that you would want two full-strength squads available for a game.
"Competitions like this are built on rivalries. And I think the derby day was taken the piss out of a little bit and that was because it was set in stone on January 3, and that day makes a lot of money for broadcasters and Cricket Australia.
"I don't necessarily say it's right or wrong. I don't know what the other options were because we weren't really communicated with."
Zampa said he sympathised with CA, who did not have the practical option to postpone the tournament like the Indian Premier League was in 2021. But he also said CA had set the tone for finals to be played amid outbreaks.
"If there's enough heads flying around with certain coloured shirts on, then the competition goes ahead," he said.
CA has long insisted they have put players' health first during the tournament, postponing three games in that time.