Covid-19 lockdown causes greater problems for Australian cricketers ahead of Ashes 2021-22

Abhishek Singh

Abhishek Singh

Author| Oct 5, 1:22 PM

PC- Twitter
PC- Twitter

With Covid numbers once again on the rise in several states in Australia, the government has put strict sanctions on travelers from New South Wales and Victoria to the states of Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania. With strict lockdown rules in place, state cricket boards are worried about the logistical challenges for the players who are not a part of the World T20 squad.

Talking about such problems, Cricket NSW head of the male team, Michael Klinger said, "I suppose the next challenge for us is getting someone like Nathan up into Queensland where the first Test is going to be.”

"We'll obviously work with Cricket Australia on that to find out how we're going to do that to make sure he's up there by late November, early December, whenever the guys come back from the World Cup as well,” Klinger added, saying that the problem is mainly due to the 14-day quarantine (if it is not exempted)  and how to plan the quarantine to coincide with the rest of the Australian team members who would be returning from the T20 World Cup. 

"I suppose the biggest challenge with the guys coming back from the World Cup is we just don't know what date that will be because we just don't know if they're going to make the semi-final or the final, so we'll just have to be quite flexible with that situation and make sure we get Nath back to marry up with that. And potentially, we're hopeful guys like Moises Henriques and Sean Abbott might be in contention for selection as well,” said the former Australia player, who represented the national team in three T20Is. 

The lockdown issue has forced Cricket Australia to allow the NSW and Victorian teams to play each other in the Sheffield Sheild and Marsh Cup games as the other three states have closed their borders to them. Even after this Klinger is hopeful of getting an exemption from 14-day quarantine or individual players which might be easier, compared to getting it for teams. 

"I don't think it will be an issue for someone like Nathan. When Cricket Victoria and Cricket NSW are trying to get exemptions to get into other states when you're talking about players and staff, you're talking up to 40 to 50 people, and umpires included in that as well. I think it's a different story when you're trying to get exemptions for one, two, or three people than 40 or 50,” he said. 

"We certainly don't feel as though that will be an issue getting Nathan there or whoever else is needed. Similar situation with the Victorian guys as well with James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, maybe Marcus Harris, these sort of guys will be in the same boat,” added Klinger. 

The lockdown ash not only affected the Ashes aspiring players but has also been troublesome for Aussie T20 squad members such as Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa. 

While Zampa has been stuck in Byron Bay and is practising alone due to lockdown norms both in Sydney and Brisbane, where he was planning to go, Cummins and Daniel Sams have been able to practice together, but haven’t got even a single centre wicket practice game under their belt. Starc, on the other hand, has been traveling with the Australian women’s team to be with his wife Alyssa Healy and has been practising using their facilities.

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