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Langer concerned about bubble-weary IPL players

Justin Langer

Bengaluru, October 30: Ahead of the home series against India, managing the mental health of his bubble-weary players, many of whom are currently featuring in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE, is on top of the agenda of Australian coach Justin Langer.

Australia's ODI skipper Aaron Finch, ex-captain Steve Smith, opening batsman David Warner, and fast bowlers -- Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood -- are some of the big names competing in IPL 2020.

They were among a group of players who who got a taste of life in a bio-secure bubble in August before leaving for a limited-overs series in England and now in the UAE for IPL.

Players, while competing, are being completely isolated from their surroundings in bio-bubbles to negate the risk of getting infected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"We're going to have to be really careful with how we manage our players this summer," Langer said ahead of the home series which begins on November 27.

Rajasthan Royals' England bowler Joffra Archer, his compatriot and Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan and Pakistan's bowling coach Waqar Younis have all expressed apprehension about the bio bubble affecting the players mental health at some point or the other.

IPL 2020: Jofra Archer wants to be free from the bio bubble environment

Australia will host India for four Test matches, three One-day Internationals and as many T20I's.

The touching point for Indian players in Australia will be Sydney and the Cricket Australia and the New South Wales Government have come to an agreement in this regard.

"When we sat down with all the boys individually in England and showed them the schedule coming up, you could see the blood drain out of their face, for personal and professional reasons," Langer added while raising concern about the players' mental health.

The Australian players will be travelling back at the end of the IPL 2020 to enter another bubble as cricket continues to follow that template as the standard COVID-19 safety measure.

Langer said as professionals, come what may be, they have to accept it.

"While some people won't agree with it at times, our people, players and staff are high priority for us to make sure they're healthy and happy," he added.

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Story first published: Friday, October 30, 2020, 16:05 [IST]
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