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Warner casts fresh doubts over England tour in July

PTI, Apr 29, 2020, 1:11 PM IST

Melbourne: It is “highly unlikely” that Australia’s scheduled limited-overs tour of England and Scotland will go ahead given the coronavirus pandemic, star batsman David Warner has said.

Australia is scheduled to take on Scotland in a T20 on June 29 before playing three T20s and three ODIs against world champions England from July 3.

“At the moment it’s highly unlikely we’re going to go over there given what’s happened in England,” Warner told cricket.com.au.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has suspended all cricket in the country until at least July 1 and England’s Test series with the West Indies set for June has already been rescheduled.

The ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said any further delays to their season would likely mean “losing cricket rather than rescheduling”.

Australia has already seen a two-Test tour of Bangladesh that had been scheduled for June called off, while a planned limited-overs home series against Zimbabwe in August is also unlikely to proceed.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just recovered from the COVID-19 infection and Warner said beating the disease should now be the priority.

“He’s back up on his feet now and that’s fantastic news, but there’s a lot more to this than just sport being played. The biggest picture is making sure we’re doing all the right things we can to flatten this curve and doing what we can do to play our bit in that. We’ve done a great job so far and all Australians should be credited,” he said.

Warner rejected the idea of resuming sport without spectators.

“No doubt at all, you want crowds no matter where you go and where you play. I love playing in England, it’s awesome,” he said.

“You’ve always got someone they always try and rev up, and fortunately for the team, it’s pretty much just me, and that takes a lot of the heat off the other guys,” he said.

“We’re there to put bums on seats and hopefully we can entertain the crowd by playing a good brand of cricket,” the left-hander added.

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