The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 pandemic had severely affected cricket tournaments last month. In addition to the tournaments which got canceled/delayed in March, Australia’s tour of Bangaldesh became the latest one to undergo postponement last week.
Originally scheduled to take place in June, the two-Test series doesn’t have a new start date. The last time Australia played a two-match Test series in Bangladesh, it ended in a 1-1 draw. Considering the past result, one could anticipate the hosts possessing a tough challenge to the visitors this time as well.
Opening up in an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Australia spinner Nathan Lyon expressed disappointment at not heading to Bangladesh next month and hoped to play cricket soon.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to not be heading over to Bangladesh. That was going to be a massive challenge for the team. It’s a place where I get personally challenged as well, and somewhere I enjoy playing my cricket. Regarding the scheduling, no doubt the ICC and Cricket Australia and all the big bosses will do everything they can to make sure we’re getting back and playing cricket,” Lyon was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
ICC World Test Championship also gets affected
The Bangladesh-Australia series is the first series of the ongoing ICC Test Championship which will get postponed due to the pandemic. If things don’t improve drastically in the near future, West Indies’ tour of England will also get affected.
In what is the inaugural season of the Championship, the delay in the matches will be duly affecting the future scheduling. “I think it’s important that the two best teams over that period compete in the Test Championship final, so obviously I want to be there. I want Australia to be there.
“I think we’re heading in the right direction, we’ve got a young side but we’re building towards something pretty special I believe. That’s a decision for the big bosses of the ICC and everyone else involved. We’ll just have to wait and see,” Lyon said with respect to the Test Championship.
Nathan Lyon pictures Virat Kohli playing sans crowd
Australia and New Zealand had played an ODI behind closed doors at the SCG last month before the series got postponed. Various reports suggest that the same might be the way ahead till the time normalcy is achieved.
It was only yesterday that Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell had spoken against playing ICC T20 World Cup 2020 without spectators. While Lyon wasn’t question about the showpiece event, he reckoned that India’s tour of Australia later in the year could be played without the crowd.
Being asked how India captain Virat Kohli would adjust to playing in an empty stadium, Lyon hailed him to be able to “adapt to any scenario” before revealing a conversation with fast bowler Mitchell Starc.
“He’s [Virat Kohli] probably good enough to adapt to any scenario. But it’s funny you say that. I was actually talking to Mitch [Mitchell] Starc the other day and we actually said that if we are playing with no crowd, it’ll be quite amazing to see Virat trying to rev up the seats. It’s going to be a little bit different. But Virat is a superstar. He’ll be able to adapt to any climate that we’re able to play in,” Lyon added.
“It is up there with the biggest series alongside the Ashes…”
During their last trip to Australia, India had registered their maiden Test series victory. With stellar batsmen in David Warner and Steve Smith back into the Australian side, the visitors will have a stern task ahead of them. Expressing excitement about playing against India, 32-year old Lyon believed the series to the biggest alongside the Ashes.
“I’m excited about the prospect of India coming out to Australia, it is up there with the biggest series alongside the Ashes. They’re an absolute powerhouse of the cricket world. Playing in front of crowds or no crowds is out of our control.
“We’ve got to follow the advice of all the amazing medical people around the world. I haven’t thought about no crowds or massive crowds – it’s just about the opportunity of playing against India again. They had the wood over us last time they came over here but we’re a much stronger side at the moment,” Lyon concluded.