England cricketers willing to isolate to ensure cricket is played

Fast bowler Mark Wood says players would be willing to go into isolation in order for England matches to take place this summer.

Plans to play in a bio-secure environment could involve players staying together for a number of weeks and being subject to regular coronavirus testing.

“Everybody in the squad, as long as the conditions are right, would be willing to come back and play some cricket,” said Wood.

“I know it would be a long stint and it would be hard but it would be good to get back out there.”

There will be no cricket in England and Wales until at least 1 July, which has meant the postponement of England’s Test series against West Indies.

To reschedule those matches, and host subsequent visits from Pakistan, Australia and Ireland, the England and Wales Cricket Board is exploring the possibility of using bio-secure venues.

This could mean grounds like Old Trafford and Southampton, which each have a hotel on site where players, staff, media and anyone else required to be at a match could stay.

England players have been briefed by director of cricket Ashley Giles and the ECB’s chief medical officer Dr Nick Peirce as to what the plans could mean for them.

“You sort of get used to being away on tour for long periods of time,” said Wood, who has played 15 Tests for England and was part of the team that won the World Cup in 2019.

“It would be very hard but as long as the environment is safe, my family are safe and everybody else there is safe then I’d be willing to do it.”

If all of England’s summer schedule is saved, that would mean a total of six Tests, six one-day internationals and six Twenty20s.

That would probably mean a large squad being chosen, even if the Test and limited-overs teams would be separated at times.

Still, it is likely that any players who do not feature in certain matches would not be able to leave the team environment.

“I imagine they would have a pool of players that we’ll dip into if the Test matches come thick and fast,” said Wood.

“We’ve never been in these circumstances before where we don’t know what’s going to happen on the down days – I guess you can’t just go home so maybe you’ll have to train in small groups.

”It will be interesting to see how it does work.” (BBC Sports)

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