Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood, who is currently in the UK, preparing for the limited-overs series against England, admitted that he has had concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak in the Chennai Super Kings camp in UAE. As many as 13 squad members, including two players, have been reported to have tested positive in the CSK contingent so far. Hazlewood disclosed that everyone’s been kept updated about developments via WhatsApp.
He said, “We have a WhatsApp group with all the information that comes through, it’s obviously a little bit of a concern. Ideally, you’d have no cases, they are in quarantine now and I think that finishes up in the next few days. All my focus is on this tour at the moment and when the IPL comes closer we’ll think about that.”
Hazlewood, who will be joining the CSK squad for the IPL starting next month, said that there will be discussions with Cricket Australia in case the numbers go up. “We haven’t spoken too much about it yet, it’s a few weeks away until we get there. I assume those things will come up if cases are still happening closer to the date, then we’ll touch base with Cricket Australia and have a chat.”
Currently, Hazlewood’s sole focus is to put up a good performance against England to try and seal a spot in the T20 side. Hazlewood, who had a hand in Sydney Sixers being crowned BBL champions last season, last played a T20I in Australian colours in the 2016 T20 World Cup.
The Tamworth-born pacer said, “That’s always the goal, to play every game of cricket you can for Australia. It’s probably just through opportunity that I haven’t, guess scheduling as well plays a part. But the T20 team has been going really well and as you expect it’s stayed pretty much the same XI, they’ve been winning most of their games and it’s a tough side to get into.
“I’ll keep pushing and take the opportunities as I did for the Sixers and hopefully for Chennai and hopefully keep knocking on the door. I’m pretty aware of where I sit. The team keeps winning and the guys are going well, especially the bowling unit.”
Hazlewood was appreciative of the England side, that has been performing well in limited-overs Cricket despite the absence of most of their regular players. He said, “England are flying, (they have a) a couple of new faces we’ve got to look at. Tommy Banton I know, I’ve seen (Dawid) Malan but he is in the runs again. Eoin Morgan just runs a really good ship in the white-ball stuff and everyone knows their roles.
“Their confidence is always high, they always win a lot of games of cricket so they’re pretty confident. They’ve got all bases covered in white-ball cricket and we’re probably seeing a bit more depth this year with having to have different players in each squad. They had a good chase against Pakistan. They know their roles and their white-ball teams are as good as ever.”