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Cricket: New dad Richardson retires from the Australian squad

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SYDNEY: Fast bowler Kane Richardson withdrew from the Australian squad of limited overs on Wednesday (Nov. 18) to face India to stay with his wife and newborn son in Adelaide, which is battling a coronavirus outbreak.

Richardson will be replaced by fellow speedy Andrew Tye who was on the squad on the recent white-ball tour from Australia to England.

“It was a tough decision for Kane to make one that has the full support of the selectors and the whole team,” said national selector Trevor Hohns.

Richardson informed voters Tuesday of his decision, hours before South Australia announced a six-day “circuit-breaker” lockout to contain a sudden coronavirus cluster in the capital, Adelaide.

“Kane wanted to stay in Adelaide with Nyki and their newborn son. We will always support our players and their families, especially given the challenging environment we find ourselves in,” said Hohns.

“We will miss what he brings to the team, but fully understand and support his decision.”

Preparations for the blockbuster Indian cricket tour were complicated by the South Australia outbreak, with the first test scheduled at the Adelaide Oval from December 17-21.

Therefore, from November 27, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals will be playing in Sydney and Canberra.

Australian players and staff from outside New South Wales flew to largely COVID-free Sydney on Tuesday, a few days ahead of schedule, fearing the latest outbreak could close state lines.

Hitter Josh Philippe and D’Arcy Short were added to the Australian training team on Wednesday as a precaution, while the rest of the white ball team would arrive in Sydney on Sunday.

Cricket Australia said it would remain committed to holding the first test in Adelaide, but kept a close eye on the coronavirus situation.

The South Australians were told on Wednesday to leave their home only for essential work, to run errands or for health reasons.

The state is the first in Australia to ban outdoor physical activity for all residents since the pandemic began.

The lockdown came when two new COVID-19 positives were linked to a cluster emerging from a quarantine hotel in Adelaide, bringing the outbreak to 22 cases.

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