“As long as the environment is safe … I’d like to do it”: Bowler from England, Mark Wood, will be opening eight tests behind closed doors for eight weeks this summer … as he admits the squad is ‘desperate’ to get to work ‘
- England was able to play six tests in eight weeks in the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford
- Fast bowler Mark Wood would like to get back into action as long as it’s safe
- The World Cup winner praised the ECB’s communication about the schedule
- With the government’s approval, England was able to play against the West Indies on July 8
The English cricketers are willing to lock together for two months this summer so they can get back to work on back-to-back test series against the West Indies and Pakistan.
While some Premier League footballers have expressed concerns about ‘Project Restart’, there are fewer reservations within a team in England willing to play six tests behind closed doors in the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford within eight weeks.
Mark Wood, the fast bowler from England who has had the best form of his career in both red and white ball cricket over the past year, says the players have asked ‘good questions’ about the safety of returning in July and that they’ good answers’ given.
Fast-paced English bowler Mark Wood admits that the summer period ‘would be difficult’, but he likes to play
England hopes to play six tests in just two locations with Old Trafford (pictured) considered appropriate
So while they need government approval and permission from the West Indies and Pakistan to travel, England will continue the provisional schedule Sports email on Monday that the first test starts on July 8 in Southampton.
“I think everyone in the squad, as long as the conditions are right, is willing to come back and play some cricket,” Wood said during a conference call from the ECB.
“We are desperate. I know it will be a long time and it will be difficult, but it would be good to go outside again. ‘
The plan, which was presented to players by team director Ashley Giles and ECB chief of medicine Nick Peirce, would gather an enlarged English squad, possibly as large as 30 players, in the Ageas Bowl by the end of June for training and a warm-up match between the team for the first test.
The Ageas Bowl (pictured) would conduct three tests behind closed doors in July and August
Then, with management, support staff, officials and broadcasters, the group would go to Manchester for the final two tests for the first test against Pakistan at Old Trafford and the last two at the Ageas Bowl.
A three-day series of three games against Ireland would be squeezed between the two, with all three games at Old Trafford.
“We had a conversation with Ashley Giles and Nick Peirce about what the schedule might look like, but it’s still very early when the government decides what’s going to happen,” said Wood.
“As long as the environment, everyone else there and my family are safe, I would like to do it.”
ECB CEO Tom Harrison warned this week that cricket would lose £ 380 million if the season is completely lost to the corona virus, a figure that would drop to £ 100 million if England could continue a program ending with white-ball games against Pakistan and Australia in September.
Wood praised English team director Ashley Giles’ proposal and communication
But Wood insists that the players, who would be tested for the virus on a daily basis, have not been pressured by the governing body.
“Communication was really good,” said Wood.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t feel pressured. We are all willing to continue as long as it is safe. I know everyone desperately wants to play, but the bigger picture is still what’s going on with the main frontline employees.
“There are bigger things right now.”
Wood, a new father, compared the situation to the England tour of Bangladesh three years ago, when they traveled after the terrorist attacks in Dhaka on the advice of highly regarded adviser Reg Dickason. Now the players rely on Peirce.
“I feel like we’ve asked questions to be asked about families, when we can start playing again and if there’s an emergency at home, can we come back and what’s the protocol,” Durham’s bowler added .
The World Cup winner would like to take action again, although he is aware of the bigger picture
“Nick is a good guy who has been around for a long time and he realizes the bigger picture. He’s not going to endanger players and families unnecessarily and we all trust him.
“It’s like traveling to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka this year. You get advice from the chief of security and now we get advice from the doctor and we trust him.
“We’ve asked good questions in the meetings we’ve had so far, and we’re getting good answers.”