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27 May 2024

Ashes doubt for fatigued Australia Test opener Burns

Photo: AFP


Australia Test opener Joe Burns has been diagnosed with fatigue and burn-out stemming from a viral infection last year, throwing his chances of playing in this year's Ashes into serious doubt.

The 29-year-old, who scored a career-best 180 during Australia's last Test in February against Sri Lanka at Canberra, called time on his stint with English county side Lancashire last month for "personal reasons".

Queensland Cricket said in a statement he was dealing with "a protracted post-infectious fatigue disorder dating back to an October 2018 viral infection".

Burns, who has played 16 Tests and was a contender to open with David Warner against England in the five-match series, is recuperating.

"A definite prognosis for recovery is unavailable at present; however it is anticipated he will be fully available for cricket in the near future," added the statement.

Whether he recovers in time for the first Test at Edgbaston on August 1 remains to be seen, but his problems could open to door for Marcus Harris or Cameron Bancroft.

Coach Justin Langer told reporters it would be tough to select Burns, given how much county cricket he will miss.

"He's one player we were hoping would play six, seven, eight games of red-ball cricket," he said.

"That was the plan initially. Sometimes plans change, and we'll just have to monitor that over the next a little bit."

Burns was replaced in the Lancashire squad by fellow Australian Jake Lehmann, son of former national coach Darren Lehmann.