Head coach Justin Langer feels Australian cricket will need to make some sacrifices, like missing out on star players in international matches, and a few compromises in the domestic competition to keep the game going amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian men’s team is scheduled to leave for England on Sunday for its white-ball tour. The two teams will play three T20 Internationals and as many ODIs from September 4 to 16.
Langer believes Cricket Australia’s focus now should be on international fixtures, which are vital for the health of the sport in the country. “We’ve got to make some sacrifices for the greater good of the game of cricket in Australia but also the game worldwide. We’ve got to make sacrifices to make sure people get to see the Australian cricket team play again,” Langer told reporters in an online conversation.
With the biosecurity bubbles and other restrictions in place to curb the threat of coronavirus, Langer believes some players could miss out on international fixtures in order to spend time with their families.
“We might not be able to see our families because we need to keep the show on the road. Some of our best players might have to miss some international cricket so they can spend some time seeing families,” Langer said.
“Those are some of the compromises we might be looking at; we are aware and work through it as they come up,” he added.
The 49-year-old former opener reckons Australia’s domestic competition could also witness depleted squads due to travel restrictions.
“If we’ve got to have bigger squads because we can’t have guys coming in and out, 12th and 13th men playing Shield cricket which is unlikely to happen, that will take some of our best players out of our domestic competition,” Langer said.
“If we play the full domestic schedule, we might have to compromise on that – the costs to the game, we can’t let that blow out because that’s important for the health of the game – and there might be compromises in the domestic schedule, that’s being worked through at the moment,” he added.
Langer believes it is imperative for the game to resume in the country and for that to happen everyone has to work together. There have been no cricketing activities in Australia since mid-March.
“We know it’s not going to be like it has always been. If we can just accept that and all work together then we’ll get the best outcomes.
What is so crucial is we get the men’s internationals up and running, the Big Bash, some of the women’s internationals and Women’s Big Bash up and running.
“They are crucial for the health of our game, so we’ve got to work together; there is going to be some compromises made. There has to be and if we do that then we will all benefit,” he added.
Langer feels his side can adapt to the new normal, that include staying in a hotel room for weeks.
“The strict regulations will be something very different to what we’re used to. Having said that, if there’s anyone who is ready for it, it would be the Australian international men’s team.
“You know how much time we spend away from home. Whilst we have a lot more freedom than we will have at the moment we spend so much time on the road together,” he said.
Australia are taking a 21-strong squad to England and after the tour several players, including skipper Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith and Pat Cummins, will head to UAE to take part in the Indian Premier League.
“We’ll keep an eye on how the boys are travelling with the England tour then, the IPL, the quarantine then the summer kicking off,” Langer said.
“It’s certainly something we’re aware of. The guys are going to already spend a lot of time away from home but we’re going to make sure we manage it really well,” he added.