We have players' welfare in mind: Cricket Australia boss

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Sydney, Nov 24 (IANS) The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cricket Australia (CA), Nick Hockley has said that the cricket board is aware of the concerns expressed by players like David Warner and others about the problems faced while returning from foreign tours and entering quarantine and added that the board is taking every possible measure to ensure the players are looked after well.

“I can’t comment on individual players or future tours. It is a season like no other. We are conscious that the players have been in a different environment for some months and we’re working very closely with team management, with the players to make sure that their well-being is looked after,” Hockley said in reply to a question from IANS while interacting with the Indian media. He, however, refused to elaborate on the topic.

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Warner had, on Monday, told the media that touring overseas would be difficult for the Australian players if the Covid-19 restrictions and the resulting quarantine continues. Every time players come from outside they have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Hockley also expected a huge crowd response for the Pink Ball Test. “Now that the borders are opening, we are hoping that there will be a huge inflow of crowds from various states into the venue.”

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Hockley said that Virat Kohli’s absence from the last three Tests will have no financial bearing for Cricket Australia. Kohli’s presence in the limited overs series and first Test, he felt, is delighting them enough.

“We are obviously delighted for Kohli and Anushka on the imminent birth of their first child. We absolutely respect their decision to honour BCCI in terms of granting paternity leave. So, I think we’re just delighted that he’s going to be here to captain the side in the limited overs series and the first test while leading the side. He’ll bring competitive leadership that we’ve seen during the last series and that we’ve been accustomed to watching during India’s performances all around the world. So, no I don’t think it will have a financial bearing on it.”

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Hockley added that they are expecting this series to be played in front of large crowds as Australia has managed to control the pandemic very well.

“I think this series is of great importance to world cricket and to Australian cricket. One of the features of the pandemic has been how the international cricket community has supported each other. It is testament to the cooperation that we have been able to get the international cricket back up and running safe way. What is particularly exciting about this series is that Australia has managed the Covid situation very well so we are particularly excited that this series will be played in front of large crowds,” Hockley said.

The series begins on November 27 with three ODIs, followed by three T20Is and four Tests, the first of which will start at Adelaide from December 17.

–IANS

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