Aaron Finch’s chances of leading his Australian side to the UK this winter look slim.
Aaron Finch’s chances of leading his Australian side to the UK this winter look slim.

UK lockdown sees hopes of Aussie tour recede

HOPES of Australia's white-ball tour of England taking place are looking increasingly unlikely after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the brakes on any imminent return for professional sport.

In a TV address, Johnson said the coronavirus transmission rate was still too high to significantly ease the lockdown.

Sport in the UK has been at a standstill for almost two months but Premier League clubs are expected to vote on plans to complete the season at neutral venues at a meeting on Monday.

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But with Watford, Norwich, Brighton and Aston Villa already voicing opposition to the plan, the prospect of the 2019/20 season being put on hold for an extended period or even voided still remains.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has already postponed The Hundred competition until next year while the County Championship was scheduled to start on July 1.

Australia are due to play three T20s and a trio of ODIs from July 3-16. But discussions have taken place with Cricket Australia about the matches potentially being played in early September in place of England's limited overs series against Ireland.

"We want to encourage more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise," said Johnson.

"You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own households."

The message would seem to rule out the prospect of football clubs going back to training anytime soon, which has happened in Spain and Germany, and does not improve the prospects of finishing seasons which were brought to a halt by the public health crisis.

Football continues to grapple with the potential challenges of a return to action, with a third Brighton player and five La Liga players in Spain testing positive for the virus.



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