Joe Burns still keen on county cricket despite Lancashire saga
Australian Test opener Joe Burns remains keen to play county cricket despite his ill-fated sojourn with Lancashire last year.
Burns played only one match with Lancashire before returning to Australia after being diagnosed with a fatigue disorder.
Though omitted from last year’s Ashes squad, the Queenslander returned to the national side to play five Tests in the southern summer, and was rewarded by promotion to Cricket Australia’s central contract list last month.
The 30-year-old right-hander told an online press conference on Thursday he would still be eager to return to county cricket despite last year’s fatigue diagnosis, which doctors linked to a 2018 viral infection.
“I think from year to year players want to play as much cricket as possible,” said Burns, who previously completed stints with Middlesex and Leicestershire.
“The calendars and the schedule dictate our availability a lot of time… but obviously if there are large breaks in our schedule then the opportunities to play county cricket are always fantastic, to get over there and play as much as possible.”
While Burns said his early return from Lancashire had allowed him to be mentally and physically ready for the Australian summer, he said English stints were invariably a boon for Australian batsmen.
He cited the meteoric rise of Marnus Labauschagne to his current status as World Number three after his call-up from county cricket to the second Test of last year’s Ashes series.
“You see it year in year out, players who want to get over there and play county cricket,” Burns said.
“Marnus Labauschagne is a great example, the way he went to Glamorgan and made so many runs and then stepped into the Ashes and did so well.
“There are so many benefits for the players, especially now with The Hundred coming in as well, a fourth format in England. So there’s a lot of opportunities for Australians to get over there and get into some high quality cricket.”
Burns saw an upside to world cricket’s current coronavirus-enforced hiatus, albeit especially for southern hemisphere players whose season had just ended when lockdown measures came into force.
“Definitely this enforced lay-off for everyone provides the opportunity to really get yourself right, reset, and to start preparing physically for next summer,” he said.
“It’s probably the longest off-season any of us has had for a long time.
“From a physical perspective it gives the opportunity for us to be in a really strong position, and in the back of our minds we know that once we do start playing again it’s going to be pretty much non-stop looking at the calendar.”
Aware of Covid-inspired proposals to stop cricketers using saliva to shine and preserve the ball, Burns said it would be vital to allow some form of ball-polishing to ensure a fairer contest between bat and ball to entertain spectators.
“Whether it’s saliva or not we do need something that helps the ball swing, just so the fans are still getting entertained and watching something that’s good to watch,” the 21-Test veteran said.
“I know if we were to play a game tomorrow, you probably don’t want to be putting saliva on the ball. But it is a long time and there’s a lot of things to pass before we get back out on the cricket field, so we’ll see what happens.
“There are lot of things to work through, but I think the benefit for cricket is we’re not the sport that has to move first on that, and we can sit back and see how the winter codes handle different situations, and make some decisions after that.”
Ricky Ponting: Bazball designed with Ashes in mind but could backfire on England
England face Australia over five Tests this summer.
Australia remain on top in World Test Championship final despite missed chances
India were bowled out for 296 and Australia extended their lead to 196 by tea on day three
Wicket off a no-ball and three dropped catches – Australia give India hope
India are 260 for six at lunch, a deficit of 209.
Georgia Adams eager to keep Charlotte Edwards Cup in familiar home on Finals Day
The Vipers face Thunder on Finals Day with the winners meeting The Blaze.
Eoin Morgan expects Ben Stokes to retain win-at-any-cost mentality for Ashes
The England captain and head coach Brendon McCullum have transformed the Test side’s fortunes.
Ben Stokes pledges England will play with no fear against Australia
Stokes has led his team to victory in 11 of his 13 Tests since he was installed as permanent skipper at the start of last summer.
Steve Smith looking forward to seeing how England fare against Australia attack
All five of Australia’s bowlers claimed a wicket as India were reduced to 151 for five in the World Test Championship final – still 318 runs behind.
World Test Championship
India struggle for runs as Australia gain upper hand in World Test Championship
By stumps on day two India were 318 behind on 151 for five.
Ollie Pope admits England are searching for methods to unsettle Steve Smith
Smith ground India’s bowlers down with a meticulous 121 at the Oval.
World Test Championship
India lose openers cheaply as Australia build on Steve Smith ton in WTC final
India were 37 for two at tea after Australia were bowled out for 469.