• Buttler won’t mind if football is banned

    Vice-captain Jos Buttler won’t be entirely fazed if football is banned as part of England’s warm-up regime during January and February’s Test series against the West Indies in the Caribbean.

    New England and Wales Cricket Board director of cricket Ashley Giles recently voiced discomfort at football being played prior to major fixtures.

    Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow injured an ankle while playing football – and was consequently sidelined from the bulk of last year’s Test series against Sri Lanka.

    ‘I love it. It’s been a fun part of our warm-ups for a while and I enjoy playing it. The guys are very careful. We’re not professionals, but we enjoy a kick-around and we try to stay as safe as possible,’ said Buttler.

    ‘But I understand his point of view because it probably doesn’t make too much sense for us to warm up playing football. There are obvious risks.

    ‘So if that’s his final decision, then that’s it. There will be discussions between coaches, captains and Ashley, and if it’s decided we can’t play anymore I don’t think the guys will be too bothered. We’ll just get on with it.’

    The West Indies and England will meet for three Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is. These will be preceded by the tourists’ two warm-up matches at the Three Ws Oval in Cave Hill, Barbados.

    Photo: Getty

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