David Warner is bracing for a summer of cricket like no other.
Warner and some teammates will prepare for Australia’s Test series against India by playing more than two months of white-ball cricket in foreign biosecurity bubbles, rather than quarantining at home.
Warner and other three-format stars, like Steve Smith and Pat Cummins, are expected to travel to England for a limited-overs series in September.
They will return home via the Indian Premier League, which is set to wrap up on November 8 or 10 and be staged entirely in the United Arab Emirates.
Warner remains uncertain whether Australia’s one-off Test against Afghanistan in Perth on November 21-25 will go ahead, while he highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic has cast doubt on the Sheffield Shield.
“We’re going to have a lack of red-ball cricket preparation (before facing India)… it’s going to be challenging,” Warner told reporters.
“Usually you have a couple of Shield games leading into a Test series.
“How is Victoria going to be able to start Shield cricket down there? At the moment, it seems like it’ll be impossible.”
Quarantine periods and interstate-travel restrictions could also make it difficult for players to be released and/or added to the Test squad during Australia’s four-match series against Virat Kohli’s side, which is slated to start on December 3.
“If there’s no Shield cricket being played up until Christmas, it doesn’t give anyone else an opportunity to (make a case to) be picked,” Warner said.
“We’ll have to bring a person in with a lack of red-ball preparation.
“That’s foreign to all of us, it doesn’t really happen.
“We’re just going to have to adapt.”
Cricket Australia is in negotiations with relevant authorities regarding the mandatory 14-day quarantine period that all Australians returning home must serve – seeking permission for Warner and teammates to hit the nets while isolating in a hotel.
Warner suggested the Aussies are ready for potential schedule changes that could include shifting the first Test to Perth and/or the Boxing Day Test away from the MCG.
“It’s out of our hands,” he said.
“We can learn from the AFL and NRL as well about shifting teams or competitions.
“Whether it’s state cricket or some of the international games up to Queensland, into areas where it is COVID-safe and we can lock down.”
Warner, who has repeatedly credited wife Candice and their three daughters for his success on the pitch, knows that COVID-19 protocols may result in spending much less time with his young family than normal.
“We’re going to not be able to have the luxury of our families coming away with us now and it could be (that way) for the foreseeable future,” the veteran said.