On Thursday, England managing director Ashley Giles announced ECB’s plan to get its players back to training. England and Wales Cricket Board is planning to restart its cricketing activities from July. This decision came after the British government publishes guidelines for players to return for training on Wednesday.
Following the announcement, ECB has selected a still-to-be announced squad of 30 players. The players will begin training from next week.
Speaking with reporters in a conference call, Giles said, “This is individual-based training so in many ways, we should be able to get control of the environment right so it’s safer to go back to practice than it is to go to the supermarket.”
He added, “I would be nervous, certainly. But we are doing everything we possibly can to answer all of the West Indies’ questions. We will be speaking to Pakistan as well and mitigating as much risk as we possibly can.”
However, Giles admitted players will find it difficult to stop their habits of not shining the ball and using saliva or sweat on the ball. He says “How are we going to stop Jimmy Anderson walking back to his mark touching his forehead for example and then the ball? It’s going to be tricky to break those habits.”
Giles also revealed how players won’t be locked down for over two months in the camp. He says “We have a good bunch of players, but it isn’t realistic to expect them to be in a bubble for 10 weeks. Testing, tracking, and tracking will have changed a hell of a lot by then and that should help us. Otherwise, we are going to have to be smart with selection.”
Speaking on potential loss due to loss of cricketing activities, Giles commented, “We are a business like everyone else. Businesses across the world are suffering right now. We have got to try and do our bit to protect the business.”
Giles added, “We are worried about getting our own deals done. It’s the same in Australia and India and everywhere else around the world. But in the future it will be important we work together. There is a united front because we are not going to play without sides giving a bit to each other.”