Aaron Finch: IPL return ‘hard to justify’ for Australia players missing tours | Cricket
Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch believes it will be difficult for those players who have withdrawn from the tours of West Indies and Bangladesh justifying a return to the IPL when the competition resumes in September.
He confirmed that it had been part of long-term planning to rest David Warner and Pat Cummins from the trips, but they have been joined in staying home by Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson and Jhye Richardson. Allrounder Daniel Sams, who caught Covid-19 in India shortly before the IPL started, had previously taken himself out of contention for selection while Steven Smith was ruled out with an elbow injury.
Finch said he understood the mental toll that the IPL had taken on players – with the Australians enduring a complicated journey home due to border closures – but followed what national selector Trevor Hohns said last week about national duty taking priority later in the year.
“This is only my personal opinion, I think they would find it hard to justify going back and playing that second half of the IPL purely based on the workload coming up with a T20 World Cup then a huge home summer,” Finch told SEN WA when speaking to Adam Gilchrist. “It’s a tough situation everyone has been put in but personally I’d find it hard to do that knowing how challenging it is mentally and on your family.”
Although Finch knew he would be without Warner and Cummins in the coming months he admitted the overall number of pullouts had “surprised” him. Their absences have meant recalls for Dan Christian, Ben McDermott and Ashton Turner plus a maiden international call-up for pace bowler Wes Agar. It also means that Finch won’t have had a first-choice T20 team together for a year when the World Cup comes around.
“Pat Cummins and David Warner, that was a long-term plan for them that they weren’t going to go on this tour from the outset,” he said. “Having a big summer last year followed by IPL with a T20 World Cup and a view to the Ashes, guys who are playing three formats of the game it can be so brutal on them travelling and playing in bubbles.
“I was a little bit surprised [with the others]. I’ve chatted to them all. A little bit surprised but also understandable. I know from my own point of view having gone to the UK then all the way through the home summer, I know towards the end of that year I was absolutely cooked mentally. Almost when the season finished it’s a great relief so I can understand, but wish they were there.”
Australia are due to depart for West Indies on June 28 for a tour that will include five T20Is and three ODIs. They are then scheduled to head straight to Bangladesh for five further T20Is between August 2 and 10 although those matches are still awaiting final approval around the biosecure plans.
Finch will return home and complete his quarantine shortly before his wife Amy is due to give birth to their first child on September 8. He expects to be able to be at home for three or four weeks before beginning final preparations for the T20 World Cup which is due to start in mid-October and may also be shifted to the UAE.
Once he is back and through another two weeks of quarantine, Finch’s home season will begin with domestic cricket in the BBL for Melbourne Renegades. Australia’s limited-overs cricket during the summer features visits by New Zealand and Sri Lanka from late January after the Ashes.
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