I think we have to go to England, says Australia coach Justin Langer

Australia
Justin.Langer.Australia.2018.PA_

Australia coach Justin Langer says his side must play in England this September for “the health of world cricket”.

England and Australia have already re-scheduled three One-Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals in the United Kingdom from this month to September due to the coronavirus outbreak although some hesitation still remains around the series going ahead.

While England have commenced the three-match Test series against the West Indies and have another series scheduled next month against Pakistan, Australia haven’t played since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged worldwide.

The Aussies also postponed an August ODI series against Zimbabwe a fortnight ago, leaving them with an unclear fixture moving forward, but Langer said they’re compelled to play in England.

“My personal view is we have to go. For so many reasons,” Langer told News Corp Australia.

“I think we have to go to England. There’s lots of challenges of course but we have to find solutions to make sure that can happen if possible.”

All national cricket governing bodies have been hit hard financially by the coronavirus outbreak, which Langer was cognisant of.

Cricket Australia (CA) are desperate for December and January’s four-match Test series against India to go ahead given the financial windfall that would provide.

Langer said all major cricket nations needed to help each other during this challenging period, making sacrifices such as quarantine, biosecurity restrictions and time away from family.

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“I think for the health of world cricket,” Langer said. “As much as we’d like India to come over here, I think we need to reciprocate that with England if we can.”

The future of October and November’s ICC T20 World Cup to be held in Australia will be determined later this week at an International Cricket Council meeting, with speculation it will be postponed, which CA have already publicly declared their preference, in order to maximise revenue at a later date.

The speculation has extended to suggesting that the Indian Premier League (IPL) would replace the ICC T20 World Cup in the October and November window if it is cancelled.

Langer wouldn’t be drawn on the timing on the evolving feast that is the 2020 IPL, but he espoused scheduling should enable the top international players to compete.

“I hear a different story about the IPL’s plans every few days. It varies,” Langer said. “Until there’s some clarity and we can work out how it affects the domestic season, how it affects our players, how it works with quarantine… there’s a lot of considerations here.

“But if we want India to come out to Australia, which is going to be very important to get the summer up and running… we’ll look for win-win situations.”

By Ben Somerford, follow him on Twitter

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