The Australian Under-19 team management was finding it difficult to field 11 fit players in the U-19 ICC Cricket World Cup matches due to several COVID-positive cases emerging in the side, according to Australia’s national talent and pathways manager, Graham Manou, on Tuesday.
Ahead of the semifinal clash against India at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on Wednesday, Manou added that the situation was such before the quarterfinal match against Pakistan that the Australian squad members were stationed in three different islands in the Caribbean.
“At one point, we weren’t attending the World Cup,” Manou told cricket.com.au.
“We’ve had to leave players with staff on different islands; we only had 11 fit players able to take the field against Scotland. They’ve just taken it all in their stride.”
Manou said that the last two years had thrown several challenges at the team, with the boys having to manage the schooling from home and missing sports due to restrictions on social interactions.
“Over the course of the last two years with every thing that COVID has thrown up to them in terms of managing schooling from home, missing sport and all those social interactions as part of their development, they’ve certainly shown a great level of maturity here,” said Manou.
However, despite all the challenges the young side has made it to the World semifinalis and is looking forward to facing India, who too were in a similar situation after five of their players too tested COVID positive earlier on in the tournament.