Australian whiteball cricket captain Aaron Finch has “honestly not considered” whether players can return to the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) when the tournament resumes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later this year .
IPL-14 was suspended in early May after an increase in coronavirus cases among players and support staff. The second half of the Twenty20 (T20) tournament will take place in September and October and is expected to end a few days before the start of the T20 World Cup, which is also expected to be moved to the United Arab Emirates. The Cricket Control Board in India (BCCI) has until June 28 to decide whether the flagship event can take place as planned in the country.
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When asked if Australian players would resume their IPL relays, Finch said: “I imagine this would be carried out on a case-by-case basis by Cricket Australia.”
Nick Hockley, the newly appointed general manager of Cricket Australia, had said earlier that the board had yet to begin discussions on the availability of players’ IPLs.
While England have rested their multi-format players from certain tour sections to better handle long stays in various biosecure bubbles, Finch is “not sure” that the same model will work for Australia. “I don’t think the players themselves like to take a break from international cricket,” he said. “But certainly, with the increase in team sizes due to the Covid bubbles, there are a lot of players on tour, so we will have to look at options to make sure those players are playing games.”
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Australia have announced a 23-person preliminary team for a tour of the West Indies in July, which includes five T20 (T20I) internationals and three one-day internationals. The team must then travel to Bangladesh for five T20Is.
Marnus Labuschagne, who is stationed in the English county with Glamorgan, will be a notable absentee. “Marnus is a wonderful player and has continued to show what he is capable of in T20 cricket,” said Finch. “There is also an Ashes series coming up this summer, and Marnus is playing four-day cricket in England, which is vital for his test preparations for the summer,” he added.