Spinner Ashton Agar, who is part of Australia’s 23-member preliminary squad for tour of the West Indies, said he is not surprised at news of players likely to pull out and has asked Cricket Australia to look after players who are struggling with bio-bubble life.
A report by Nine News Media claimed that as many as seven players including Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and David Warner are thinking of pulling out of the tour of the West Indies.
“We have to look a little bit long term with it all and understand that people cannot keep grinding away like that,” Agar was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au
“If you want them to have shortened careers, or really not enjoy themselves, or pull out of the game, then the best way to do that is to grind them into the ground,” he added. “But if we are trying to look after each other really well, then we will prosper down the track, so what we are doing now is really good.”
Agar, who has represented Australia in four Tests, 14 ODIs and 32 T20 Internationals, said that players need to be looked after well since they have been continuously touring and living in a bio-bubble.
“They have been looked after really well in those times but for the longevity of their careers and for their own health, we need to look after them. And at times they are going to have to take a break, and that is what is happening,” Agar said.
“These guys are away for a very long time and unless you really put yourself in their shoes, it would be tough to imagine the mental toll it takes on you.”
Agar pointed out that periods for which cricketers have done quarantine.
“I think if anyone had to do so many stints of quarantine – a lot of these guys have done 10-12 weeks already, and Covid has been around for a year-and-a-bit now — it is a crazy amount of time just spent sitting around a hotel room with your own thoughts, without fresh air or whatever.”