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Ashton Agar "not surprised" by reports of player withdrawals ahead of Australia's winter tours

Ashton Agar shed light on players withdrawing from upcoming tours
Ashton Agar shed light on players withdrawing from upcoming tours
Aharon Abhishek

Australia spinner Ashton Agar is “not surprised at all” by reports that many of the side’s leading players may sit out the upcoming winter tours due to bubble fatigue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm not surprised at all, and very understanding of that. It's hard not to be (understanding), really; these guys are away for a very long time and unless you really put yourself in their shoes, it'd be tough to imagine the mental toll it takes on you,” Ashton Agar told cricket.com.au.

His comments come after six players were called up on Tuesday (June 9) to join the 29-man preliminary Aussie squad for their upcoming West Indies and Bangladesh tour.

As per a Nine Media report, seven big names – Pat Cummins, David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, and Jhye Richardson – could opt out. These players have spent most of their time in various bubble environments over the past year.


“We need to look after them” - Ashton Agar on Australia squad members suffering from bubble fatigue

Ashton Agar said the players were looked after well
Ashton Agar said the players were looked after well

Ashton Agar spoke about players spending 10-12 stints in the bubble atmosphere and called it “a crazy amount of time” spent in the hotel rooms. He said while players are well looked after, special precautions are required to protect their health and help them extend their careers.

Australia will depart for the West Indies on June 28, meaning the players who participated in the first half of IPL 2021 would have spent less than a month at home before flying out again. Agar also stated that managing the players carefully would also showcase the evolution of the new normal in cricket, where selectors take health and well-being into account as playing abilities.

"We have to look a little bit long term with it all and understand that people can't keep grinding away like that," Ashton Agar added.
"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. But if we're trying to look after each other really well, then we'll prosper down the track, so what we're doing now is really good," he signed off.

Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Pat Cummins, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, D'Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa (squad to be reduced before departure)


Edited by Parimal

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