England allrounder Tom Curran on Monday announced that he will not return to Australia to play in the Big Bash League this year, citing the strains of ongoing biosecurity rules.
“It’s been a very challenging year and I’ve been in bubbles since July,” Curran said in an open letter to fans of his team, the Sydney Sixers.
“I will hopefully be back for many years to come, recharged and ready to go again, but for now I just need some time, normality, see family and be home.”
Curran had spent two months in a biosecurity bubble in the United Arab Emirates – which hosted this year’s Indian Premier League – before travelling to his native South Africa for England’s ongoing tour.
The 25-year-old had been due to return to Sydney after Christmas, facing another two weeks in hotel isolation before he can rejoin the team.
“I feel very lucky to play for the Sixers, I have loved my time with you all over the last two seasons and I can promise you, this decision was not taken lightly,” he said.
Sixers general manager Jodie Hawkins said travel restrictions had taken a “toll” on players worldwide, adding “we understand Tom’s need for a break.”
Curran was the top wicket-taker last season for the Sixers, who are the defending Big Bash League champions.
Earlier, England batsman Tom Banton had also withdrawn from his BBL deal with the Brisbane Heat for similar reasons.
Banton is currently with the England squad in South Africa as a reserve player. Before that, he was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Prior to that, he was part of England’s limited-overs bubbles against Ireland, Pakistan and Australia.
He was scheduled to go to Australia after the South Africa tour and then serve his mandatory 14-day quarantine before being available for the Heat after Christmas.