Australia's tour of England likely to begin from September 4
The proposed dates for Australia's white-ball tour of England have been revealed. According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, the two sides will play three T20Is and as many ODIs in the first half of September. The three T20Is are slated for September 4, 6, and 8, while ODIs will take place on September 10, 12, and 15 respectively. Here is more.
All matches are expected to be played at the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford. These are the only two international cricket grounds in England with hotels large enough to accommodate the teams, match officials and broadcasters. The two grounds are also being used in the ongoing England-West Indies Test series. Notably, the whole touring party will travel on a private flight to the UK.
As per another report, the UK Government will not ask Australia's contingent to quarantine for a fortnight. However, further guidelines will be announced ahead of the tour. Interestingly, the West Indies had to complete the 14-day isolation period in England before the commencement of the Test series. The Pakistan cricket team also went through the same process after arriving in the UK.
Cricket Australia's chief of national teams Ben Oliver believes COVID-19 restrictions shouldn't be snubbed. "We obviously take the quarantine requirements very seriously. It is important we understand that fully before a decision on the tour is made," Oliver said. "For elite cricketers, elite athletes generally, the ability to train and stay fit and keep ticking over is an important factor."
"The safety of players and staff is critical. The quarantine arrangements aren't in place, they're not confirmed. They obviously exist in terms of general international travel at the moment so that's something we're working through but it is a consideration," he added.
Last week, the Australian selectors named a 26-man preliminary squad for the impending England tour. The likes of Usman Khawaja, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head got back in the scheme of things. Big Bash League's top performers Josh Philippe and Daniel Sams also earned a spot. Meanwhile, the final squad for the tour will be announced later on.
Australia's preliminary squad: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Michael Neser, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, D'Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.