England all-rounder Ben Stokes said that he understood the need for possibly tighter bio-bubble measures for the upcoming Test series against India, but he hoped that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) would keep players’ mental health in consideration as well.
This comes after outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus amongst the England ODI team and a couple of county teams as well. The outbreak in the one-day international squad required the entire team into isolation and required a new group to be called up, and similar cases in several county teams have ignited worries the rest of the summer could be massively affected.
Bubble Life Is Very, Very Tough: Ben Stokes On Possible Imposition Of Bio-Bubbles For India Test Series
Sussex, Durham, Kent, and Derbyshire have seen large swathes of their roster either test positive or be identified as close contacts – forcing them to self-isolate for a number of days. The changes in the self-isolation rules are not due until August 16 and if cricket cannot secure a special allowance then among the choices, then the bio-bubble could be imposed to keep the ODI and Test squads safe.
“All these things get put in place to make sure we stay as safe as possible. I’ve got no doubt that things have had to go back to the drawing board, maybe. That is well above my pay grade and I don’t have to worry about that sort of stuff. Everything that gets done from the medical point of view is always to ensure the safety of the players and backroom staff on these trips,” Stokes said ahead of the 3rd ODI against Pakistan.
The first Test match between India and England begins on August 4 at the Trent Bridge ground in Nottingham.
“Nothing has been set in stone with what is going to happen with the India series yet, but everything is being done in the right way. You have to make sacrifices but at the same time, you need to consider welfare as well as getting people out on the park.
Bubble life is very, very tough. Going from hotel to cricket ground on a daily basis can get to you so there is a lot that needs to be thought about. Keeping everyone as safe as possible but ensuring that we’re being looked after from the mental side because being in bubbles is very, very tough,” Stokes added concerns about the mental wellbeing of players.
Secure bubbles, which limit movement in and out, could end up in England men’s Test players being ruled out of the inaugural edition of The Hundred. Players are expected to play in three matches for their respective sides, but inclination could be given to the India Tests.