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CA chief optimistic over England tour

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21st May, 2020
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Australia could still push ahead with this year’s tour of England after an upbeat message from Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts.

Australia were due to contest three Twenty20s and three ODIs from early July but had been seen as the most reluctant of the three scheduled tourists booked for the English summer in light of the coronavirus pandemic which has hit the UK hard.

The West Indies are due to embark on a Test tour first, pending a UK governmental green light and final agreement on health and safety protocols, with Pakistan slated to follow on from Australia in August.

Australia’s visit had seemed increasingly unlikely but if assurances over biosecurity and players safety are met, Roberts said he can foresee Justin Langer’s men potentially heading to the UK in September.

“I think there’s some chance we could send a team over,” Roberts told the Daily Telegraph

“Obviously we won’t jeopardise the safety of the players, but the best test of that is the West Indian and Pakistan tours of England before we’re due to tour. We hope they go off without a hitch.”

Roberts’ counterpart at the Pakistan Cricket Board, Wasim Khan, is equally focused on ensuring his players are safe but also appears ready to plan for the trip to England.

“The players trust that we are going to do what is right by them. We are not going to jeopardise their health. We all want cricket to be played but not at all costs,” he told Sky.

“We will have an extended squad. We are looking at bringing about 25 players. We are planning to get them together to train for the tour. We’re probably about a week away from that.”

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Current guidelines mean any arrivals to the UK from overseas would require a 14-day quarantine period, but there is a chance that could also double as a training period if the venue can be signed off as ‘bio-secure’.

“The ECB have said they are going to come back to us on that once they have gained clarity on what we can do during that time,” added Khan.

“We are trying to get to England early July so that we can get the quarantine done. If we can practice during that time then great, if not then it gives us just under three weeks to practice.”

© AAP