As Australia prepare to fly to the United Kingdom for their upcoming limited-overs tour, skipper Aaron Finch on Tuesday called on his players to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols as they owe it to fans and to administrators around the world who have worked on the logistics of the resumption of cricket to toe the line.
Australia will be playing three T20Is and as many ODIs against England starting September 4. While the T20Is will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, the ODIs will be held at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
“What’s important to remember is we are in a position to help continue the global game, and there should be no more motivation than that to do everything right. I’ve been very strong with the guys in the last couple of weeks about making sure that we do literally everything we can with regards to the protocols to keep the global game going,” Finch told a virtual press conference as per cricket.com.au.
“Because at the end of the day, if that fails then we are all out of jobs and the game is not in a healthy state, which we can’t afford to have. There’s been so much time and effort put in by thousands of people to give us the opportunity to play international cricket again, and even us leaving Australia, leaving Victoria, is a big process.
“The people who’ve worked their backside off over the last couple of months to allow it to happen in Australia, in the UK, in India, South Africa, the UAE, wherever it is, thousands of people are doing an unbelievable amount of work to get the game up and running again.
“We owe it to them in particular to do everything right,” he added.
The 2020 T20 World Cup has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic to 2022, thus making the 2021 T20 World Cup in India as the next major men’s global tournament.
However, Finch believes the location of the tournament will have little bearing on the specific roles Australia want for their T20I side.
“What it does do is give people an opportunity to jump out of the pack and really make a great case to be part of that final 15 for the World Cup in India,” said Finch.
“The fact it’s been pushed back 12 months and it’s in India, it doesn’t really change the way we structure up the side because we feel like we had a lot of bases covered. Depending on wickets and conditions that we could go either way with that structure,” he added.
The Australian skipper highlighted the fact that Australia have played “good, consistent” cricket in T20Is in the last two years. However, he did say that it does keep the players on their toes to keep performing.
“We’ve played some really good consistent cricket in T20s over the last 18 months to two years, so that’s something we’re really comfortable with,” said Finch.
“But it does keep guys on their toes who have been in that playing 13, 14 over the last couple of years to continue to keep performing at a high level.
“More guys will get opportunities no doubt,” he added.
The three-match ODI series will be Australia’s first games of the ODI Super League, but it is the three T20s that are set to hold the most interest given there are two World Cups in the shortest format coming up in the next two years.