Many of Australia’s cricketers have not seen their families for months while playing under novel coronavirus protocols but they remain in good spirits as they prepare to meet India over the home summer, wicketkeeper Alex Carey said on Tuesday.
Carey and a slew of his Australia teammates are midway through a two-week quarantine period in Sydney after returning home last week from the Indian Premier League, which was played in a biosecure bubble in the United Arab Emirates.
Having arrived Down Under on the same day as the Australians, the Indian team are in the same boat, and both sides will be straight into the first one-day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 27 November, the day after completing quarantine.
Training sessions are the players’ only break from the monotony of being holed up alone in their hotel rooms, so they have been taking to practice with gusto, said Carey.
“It’s really strict - which is good,” the 29-year-old told reporters of quarantine in a video call from his room.
At 9:00am, we’re really excited to get out of the hotel and head to training which brings a lot of energy to group sessions
“Once we’re back in the hotel from training we’re locked in our rooms. No contact with anyone else.
“At 9:00am, we’re really excited to get out of the hotel and head to training which brings a lot of energy to group sessions.
“Everyone’s staying really tight on that, we understand that (with) the summer coming up, doing everything right is what we have to do.”
Australia has largely brought the coronavirus to heel but a recent outbreak in Carey’s hometown of Adelaide has caused a scare a month out from the series-opening test against India in the South Australian capital.
A number of Australia squad players, including test captain Tim Paine, played in Sheffield Shield matches in Adelaide last week and have been ordered to isolate after returning to their home states.
Carey’s team mates in Big Bash League side Adelaide Strikers are expected to fly to New South Wales state on Tuesday for a hastily arranged camp to avoid being stuck in South Australia if the outbreak escalates and travel restrictions return.
His wife, Eloise, and two-year-old son Louis have also jumped on a plane to Sydney, said Carey, who looks forward to seeing them for the first time in nearly three months once quarantine protocols are cleared.
Until then, teammates and staff are his main support.
“The relationships we have in this group are something that we’re all falling back on,” he said.
“Joining this little bubble here we get to see our mates and familiar faces. All the guys here are really strong from all the indicators that I’ve seen.”