Australian top order batsman Joe Burns has certainly benefitted from the prolonged break in Cricket due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, terming the enforced layoff as a silver lining.
Burns, who was last seen playing County Cricket for Lancashire in 2019, said, “I certainly managed myself a lot differently this summer. I was in a really good spot physically. An enforced layoff now for everyone gives you the opportunity to get yourself right and reset, start appearing physically for next summer. It’s probably the longest off-season anyone has had for a long time. From a physical perspective, it gives us the opportunity to be in a strong position. In the back of our minds, we know once we do start playing again it will be non stop looking at the calendar. That’s the silver lining to the enforced layoff we do have at the moment.”
The break might have hampered the preparation and practice for other Cricketers, but Burns looks at it from a different angle, referring to this period as an off season. The Queenslander said, “The thing to remember is this was our off season anyway, our time off. I was meant to be on holidays in America, so the fact that COVID has come along it’s meant we have just been training hard for an additional six weeks. I think that’ll only leave us in a better spot.
“So it think the other thing it does provide is a really good perspective around the game. There are times during the year when you get a bit worn out, a bit tired and you do want some time at home. This shows the other end of the spectrum now, when you’ve got that time at home and can’t wait just to get out on a cricket field again, run around with your mates and get stuck into training and playing. So there is a really nice silver lining to all of this – obviously a very tough time but when we do come out of this, I think the cricket world and hopefully the whole world will be in a better spot from it.”
Burns also gave his opinion on the issue of shining the Cricket ball. He said, “It’s probably a little too early to comprehend how they (use of saliva) will work into the game. Realistically, if we’re approved to play it’ll be hard to avoid body contact and body fluids being around each other. You look to the footy codes who have a lot more closer contact to each other the fact they’ll tackle each other, sweating, it’s really hard to maintain.”
“Using saliva to shine the ball, the product we’re putting out there we still want to be a really entertaining product for fans. Whether it’s saliva or not, we do need something that helps the ball swing so the fans are still being entertained and watching something that’s good to watch. A lot of things to work through. The benefit for cricket is we’re not the sport that has to go first. We can sit back and see how the winter codes handle different situations and make some decisions after that. I understand the need here and now if we were to play a game tomorrow you probably don’t want to be putting saliva on the ball. It is a long time and a lot of things to pass before we do get back out on the cricket field. We’ll wait and see on that one.”
After hosting the T20 World Cup, Australia are set to host India in a 5 Test match series. Burns said that he it very much looking forward to be a part of it and perform well, citing it as a huge challenge. He said, “As a player, they’re the series you want to play in and do well in. I look at Australia and India as having two incredibly strong bowling attacks and that’s going to be so exciting to watch the teams go at it. As an opening batter that’s why it’s so exciting for myself, it’s going to be a huge challenge this summer, a big role to play in nullifying the Indian bowlers especially early in the match, the morning of day one with the new ball. There’s so much anticipation going into that series. Both teams will have a lot to play with the No. 1 ranking and the World Test Championship, that’s what’s motivating us at the moment in terms of all the training with an eye looking forward to a huge summer.”