England pondering to play six home Tests against West Indies and Pakistan in two months amid COVID-19 threat
Joe Root might miss the birth of his second child in that case but he is ready to sacrifice it to save England's international summer.
Updated - May 8, 2020 9:28 pm
Cricket has completely stopped amid the COVID-19 outbreak across the world. However, with the sports resuming in a few countries later this month, even the cricket boards are pondering to take required measures while restarting the game to save themselves from the financial crisis. England’s home summer was supposed to begin by now but cricket has been suspended in the country until July 1.
However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is thinking of hosting the West Indies and Pakistan for three-match Test series each in July and August. Joe Root and Co. learned this week that the board will probably pick a squad of 30 players for a run of six Tests at Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford starting from July 8.
In that case, the players will have to undergo daily temperature checks and will have to stay away from their families for around two months as well. If, at all, this proposal goes ahead, the selected will asked to assemble at Ageas Bowl on June 23 and then train in the small groups after the initial testing. An intra squad match will also serve as a warm-up for them ahead of the first Test against the West Indies.
“I’m optimistic about it. It would be a real shame if doesn’t happen. The public are desperate for some live sport and the guys are missing it,” England’s Test skipper Joe Root said while speaking to Sky Sports.
England team players will be isolated together
Root also informed the way they will be isolated during the series while also stated that there will be no interaction with the media. He is aware that all this would make it feel a lot weird but it should be manageable. “The players would be sectioned off in one part of the hotel and would be in isolation together. There would be no interaction with the media, the TV crews or even the opposition when off the pitch.
We would have separate lunchrooms. It would have a different feel to it but it’s probably manageable. Hopefully that is the case,” he further said. ECB is desperate to go ahead with at least the international fixtures this summer. If no cricket is played in the country, the board will have to suffer a huge loss of £ 380 million. The inaugural season of The Hundred has already been postponed as well due to the pandemic.
Even the Australian government is thinking of giving travel exemptions to team India for their tour down under as $ 300 million are at stake.