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Pandemic halts Australian cricket’s wedding season

Since time immemorial, April has been wedding season for Australia’s cricketers, after the end of the season and before winter’s chill takes full effect.

This year, however, the tally of delayed weddings provides yet another measure of the toll of the COVID19 pandemic, as best-laid plans are put off indefinitely, or at least until the end of next summer.

No fewer than eight Cricket Australia or state contracted players have chosen to delay their nuptials due to strict restrictions on public gatherings, which in Australia limit the size of weddings to five people in total – the two participants, the pastor or celebrant, and their witnesses.

Australian men’s wrist spinner Adam Zampa and women’s left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen are among the group, while Jackson Bird, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, D’Arcy Short, Katelyn Fryett and Alister McDermott are the others. All had scheduled their weddings for April or thereabouts, forcing postponements until such a time as they can enjoy their big days as originally planned.

There are others not in quite the same company, having recently become engaged and now in planning for weddings to take place at a yet to be decided date. These include Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins, who said that he would now be far more involved in wedding plans on account of not having any cricket immediately in front of him.

“First of all it means that I’ll have to be more involved with the plans because I am around more, which is good,” Cummins said. “No we’re lucky. Obviously just got engaged, so hopefully most of this would have blown over by the time our wedding comes around.

“I really feel for a couple of close mates here like Adam Zampa who had to delay their weddings. It’s really tough times. So nothing’s hopefully changed too much from our point of view with that. Obviously bigger things at play.”

Cummins’ fiancee Becky Boston is English, and he said his heart went out to all cricketers and families experiencing an even greater interruption than those to wedding plans – that of the start of the northern summer cricket season. He also noted the awful scenes in Italy and Spain, where coronavirus has taken a much harsher toll than that experienced so far in Australia.

“It’s awful seeing things like – Italy and Spain, but now America and the UK in recent days – it’s just crazy how quickly it’s developed,” Cummins said. “Obviously got a lot of family over in England at the moment, speaking to them regularly – first of all making sure they’re staying indoors. But they’re all- it just seems like what we’re doing here but on an even more intense scale.

“They’re really staying at home, trying to do all the right things. It’s obviously moving so quickly, so I think we’re scheduled to go over there in June I think it is. It’s still 3 months away, just have to wait and see. I know no call has been made on that either way, but I guess unless things improve, I can’t really see many tournaments going on anywhere in the world for a little while.

“So just sit back and wait. Obviously wish everyone in England the best, especially from a cricketer’s point of view, speaking to a few close mates who play county cricket over there – they’ve gone through the whole pre-season and geared up for the start of their summer and they’re staring down the barrel of potentially their whole summer of cricket being over. So obviously the health risk is a big one, but those guys basically have to put their careers on hold.”

Other nations, too, have seen wedding plans interrupted. In South Africa, the marriage of Lizelle Lee and Tanja Cronje was slated for April 10, but is now on hold.

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