Paceman Mark Wood has emphasised his reservations about the strategic return to cricket for players and teams in England.
Last week the British government announced a return to optional individual training for cricketers around the country from Monday as the ECB continues its fight to have the series against West Indies and Pakistan commence in July.
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant a lengthy postponement of the local county season while the summer tours have also been severely affected.
Wood, who is expected to feature in those matches against the West Indies and Pakistan, is a bit more cautious about the bigger picture involved with returning to action.
‘Are the players going to be safe – the overseas players, the management, caterers, cameramen – is everybody going to be all right? Cricket sort of has to be on the back burner while everything else gets better,’ explained Wood.
‘As much as we would love to play sport and want sport back, I think it has to be about the nation and getting things back together and making sure people’s safety and key workers and the NHS are looked after.’
To date the UK has been one of Europe’s worst-hit countries with more than 34,000 Covid-19 deaths so far.
On Friday, a meeting was held between the ECB and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over their scheduled tour. As a result, the PCB appeared to be satisfied with the safety approach taken by the ECB to accommodate a healthy and safe environment.
As expected, matches could be played behind closed doors to adhere to those protocols, something which Wood admits might be a bit strange for the players on the field.
‘They [the fans] can make you feel like there is an extra guy in our side. That really does help and not to have that would be pretty weird. We’re just going to have to create our own atmosphere out in the middle,’ he said.
Photo: Anthony Devlin/AFP/Getty Images