Buttler says two England teams could play at same time

Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler says England could field two different teams on the same day to help maximise the amount of cricket played in a shortened summer.

All professional cricket has been suspended until at least 28 May because of the coronavirus crisis.

One way for England to maintain their schedule could be for the Test and limited-over teams to play simultaneously.

“If it was logistically possible, you would get the crowds,” said Buttler.

“People will want to come because they haven’t had any sport. It’s a really interesting scenario.”

England are due to host West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Ireland this summer.

The first Test against West Indies is due to begin on 4 June, so any extension to the current delay is likely to impact the international schedule.

Of the four touring outfits, only Pakistan are due to play both Tests and white-ball cricket, and there is enough difference between the various England teams to make fielding two separate home sides a viable option.

“Is it an option? Could you put two games on the same day? Potentially you could, in different areas,” said Buttler. “It’s right that it is being considered.”

He also supported the idea of matches being played behind closed doors for the benefit of a televised audience.

“Lots of us haven’t watched any sport for a long time and I just feel like people would be ready to watch some,” he said.

“It would be nice for people who have been in isolation and lockdown for a long time to see their heroes and role models back on the TV.”

Buttler, 29, is auctioning the shirt he wore in the World Cup final to raise money for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital.

He explained that the aunt of his wife is head of paediatrics at the hospital, and that other England players have made donations.

The auction ends on Tuesday at 19:30 BST, with the highest bid in excess of £65,000 at 18:00 on Monday.

“It’s an amazing amount of money,” said Buttler. “It’s a very special shirt, but it takes on extra meaning with it going to an emergency cause.” (BBC Sports)

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