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Sports News

Australia skipper Finch targeting 2023 World Cup as career swansong

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia limited overs captain Aaron Finch has set himself a goal of playing the 2023 one-day World Cup in India before bowing out of international cricket.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO- Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final - Australia v England - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 11, 2019 Australia's Aaron Finch before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

The 33-year-old opening batsman told Australian radio that cricket’s pause in 2020 due to COVID-19 had only made him more determined to push through to the global tournament in the subcontinent.

“My end date at this stage is the World Cup final of the 2023 World Cup in India,” he told SEN.

“That’s my goal and I’m sticking to it.

“That’ll see me through to 36 (years old), obviously with form and everything permitting, and injuries.

“If I thought I was going to be pushing it to get to that date, this break has confirmed that I’ll be ready to go right through to that period.”

Finch’s opening partner David Warner has also targeted the 2023 World Cup, though he said last month that family was his priority and he might review his international commitments depending on the long-term situation with COVID-19.

Finch led Australia to the semi-finals in England last year and was part of the Michael Clarke-captained side that won the 2015 World Cup on home soil.

He is leading a squad of 21 to England next week for limited overs series in Southampton and Manchester starting Sept. 4, which will be Australia’s first international cricket since the pandemic cut the season short in March.

Finch, who has been locked down in Melbourne as authorities battle a second wave outbreak, said he had not missed cricket for the first month of home isolation and wondered if he had lost motivation.

“Originally, that was alarm bells for me. (I thought) does this mean I’m coming to the end?

“And it was like that 32nd day (of no training) ticked over and I was like, ‘right, I’m itching to get back into it’.”

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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