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15 Oct 2020 | 09:26 AM
authorPTI
Langer not in favour of fielding two separate teams for NZ, South Africa tours
Langer said the move will tamper with the quality of the players competing in the domestic first-class competition

Australia head coach Justin Langer is opposed to the idea of fielding two separate national teams in two different parts of the world for a Test and Twenty20 series to be held at the same time next year.

Australia is scheduled to play five T20s in New Zealand from February 22 to March 7. At the same time, they are slated to tour South Africa for three Test matches, which will form part of the inaugural 2019 21 ICC World Test Championship.

"The chairman (Earl Eddings) knows this, the CEO (Nick Hockley) knows this really clearly - my personal opinion is I don't like it at all," Langer said on SEN radio.

"I don't ever want to have two Australian teams in one place, that's my personal opinion. In this year, with what's happening with COVID, I understand there's complexities to it.

"We're one country, aren't we? We're not two countries. And we're one sport," he added.

Earlier this year, England, too, had to field two teams -- one for an ODI series against Ireland, which was played in between the Test series' against West Indies and Pakistan respectively, to recover from the losses sustained due to non-commencement of matches during the COVID-19 forced lockdown across the world.

Langer said the move will tamper with the quality of the players competing in the domestic first-class competition.

"The other thing is if you have two Australian cricket teams, that means if we take 18 players to New Zealand and 18 players to South Africa, that's 36 players out of the back end of the Sheffield Shield competition, and that's before any injuries that will inevitably happen," Langer said.

"So you take all your best players out of the back half of the Shield competition, which we've always said is the best domestic competition in the world.

"So they're the sort of things that worry me with this, but this is a really strange season. We've seen it in AFL, we've seen it in NRL, but I certainly would never like to see it being a permanent fixture," he added.

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