(Australian Associated Press)
Australian cricketers are facing the prospect of a Christmas separated from their families as they prepare for a long summer in bio-security bubbles.
In Adelaide after Australia’s ODI series win in England, coach Justin Langer – and a number of players – are experiencing the reality of professional sport in the COIVD-19 era.
Langer is completing a two-week quarantine at the new Adelaide Oval hotel before doing it all again when he returns home to Perth.
But isolated stints in hotel rooms will be common place for cricketers as Australia gears up to host a blockbuster four-Test series against India.
The Boxing Day Test is tentatively booked for the MCG, but the marquee match could be shifted from its usual home depending on Victoria’s coronavirus situation.
Langer says finding a balance between family time and playing will be need to be found during a complex and unique home summer.
“That is something I have talked about for the last four or five months with Cricket Australia,” he told reporters.
“We are talking about it with the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association). It’s one of the contentious issues at the moment.
“The quarantine issues are going to cause the greatest angst for the families.
“Every opportunity we are going to get for our players and support staff to see their families we are definitely going to take it.
“It’s really problematic but it’s the sacrifices we’re going to have to make.”
Even though the Sheffield Shield fixture is yet to be finalised, Langer expects four rounds to take place before the red-ball series against Virat Kohli’s star-studded Indian squad.
“We’re getting closer (to a schedule). There are so many complexities,” he said.
“We’re all really keen to get it locked down and I’m sure that it will happen soon.”