By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE, November 17 (Reuters) – Many Australian cricketers have not seen their families for months playing under new coronavirus protocols, but they remain in high spirits as they prepare to meet India over the summer at home, wicket keeper Alex Carey said on Tuesday.
Carey and many of his Aussie teammates are halfway through a two-week quarantine in Sydney after returning last week from the Indian Premier League, which was played in a biosecurity bubble in the United Arab Emirates .
Arriving in Australia on the same day as the Australians, the Indian team is in the same boat, and the two teams will take part directly in the first one-day international match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on November 27, the day after the quarantine.
Practice sessions are the only break for players from the monotony of being alone in their hotel room, so they’ve gotten into the habit of training brilliantly, Carey said.
“It’s really strict – which is good,” the 29-year-old told reporters in his 40s on a video call from his bedroom.
“When we got back to the hotel after training, we were locked in our rooms. No contact with anyone else.
“At 9 am we’re really excited to step out of the hotel and head into a training that brings a lot of energy to the group sessions.
“Everyone is staying very tight on this, we understand that (with) summer coming, doing everything right is what we need to do.”
Australia has largely put down the coronavirus, but a recent outbreak in Carey’s hometown of Adelaide scared a month away from the series’ opening test against India in Australia’s capital of the South. Many of the Australian squad’s players, including test captain Tim Paine, played Sheffield Shield matches in Adelaide last week and were ordered to self-isolate after returning to their home countries.
Carey’s Big Bash League teammates Adelaide Strikers are expected to travel to New South Wales state on Tuesday for a hastily organized camp to avoid being stranded in South Australia if the outbreak worsens and travel restrictions return.
His wife, Eloise, and two-year-old son Louis also jumped on a plane to Sydney, said Carey, who is looking forward to seeing them for the first time in nearly three months after quarantine protocols are cleared.
Until then, his teammates and staff are his main support.
“The relationships we have in this group are something we all fall back on,” he said.
“By joining this little bubble here, we can see our friends and our familiar faces. All the guys here are really strong by all the indicators I’ve seen.”