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Tasmania agree to leave out Riley Meredith for 'greater good' due to border restrictions

If the fast bowler played, it could have caused issues with Victoria traveling to Perth later in the month

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Riley Meredith made inroads but it was too late, New Zealand vs Australia, 5th T20I, Wellington, March 7, 2021

Riley Meredith will have to wait for his return to domestic action  •  Getty Images

Tasmania have agreed not to play quick bowler Riley Meredith in their Marsh Cup match against Victoria in Melbourne on Wednesday because of the potential impact on Victoria's onward schedule for the season.
Victoria travel to Perth later this month, and Western Australia currently has closed borders to New Zealand where Meredith has just been with the Australia T20I squad.
Although Meredith is under no restrictions in Victoria - which along with New South Wales and Tasmania has a one-way travel bubble to New Zealand except for Auckland - it has been agreed he will sit out the game to ensure the season can continue as planned.
"If Riley was to play in this match it would impact the Victorian squad being able to travel to Perth for their upcoming fixtures against Western Australia, and so, for the greater good of the season being completed as planned, Tasmania has agreed to not select him for this match," Cricket Tasmania said in a statement.
Meredith impressed in his first international series, pushing the speed gun towards 150kph and twice claiming Kane Williamson lbw.
The situation highlights the ongoing complexities of putting the season together during a summer that has continually navigated Covid-19 restrictions. The Sheffield Shield, Marsh Cup and WNCL are not operating in the hubs and bubbles used for the first part of the season, the two BBL tournaments and the internationals.
Chris Rogers, the Victoria coach, touched on the challenges when discussing the possible inclusion of Glenn Maxwell in their Sheffield Shield squad. Queensland, where Victoria play their next match, also has closed borders to New Zealand which could prevent Maxwell being selected although he may have been rested in any case.
The resumption of Victoria's season needed government exemptions for them to play in Sydney after Melbourne went back into a brief lockdown early in February.
Meanwhile, Tasmania are also waiting to find out if Ben McDermott will be available again this season after he suffered a hamstring strain in training during the T20I tour. "He has since returned to Tasmania and is undergoing tests to determine whether he will be fit before the end of the season," the state said.
Matthew Wade, who would have been in the same situation as Meredith for the game in Victoria, is not part of the squad with the decision already taken that he would be rested following the New Zealand tour.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo