England Test captain Joe Root could be forced to miss an extended part of England’s summer schedule due to the birth of his second child.
Root’s wife, Carrie, is expected to give birth at some point this summer, and while normally being present for the event might necessitate missing at most one game, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic make it more of an obstacle.
If England do play any international cricket this summer, it will almost certainly be behind closed doors and in a biosecure environment, with players isolated together to minimise the chance of spreading infection. Under these circumstances, leaving and returning to the ‘bubble’ quickly will be impossible, and Root suggested he might have to isolate for two weeks before being allowed to come back to the fold.
“What we’ve got to do is find safe ways of getting guys in and out of the bubble,” he told Sky Sports. “For me, if that was a possibility, would I be able to get to the birth? Would I then be in isolation for two weeks? Would I be able to be tested coming back into a bubble? Who knows exactly how that would look right now? They are the sort of discussions and things that will have to happen in the coming weeks and we’ll have to clear up and make sure are really tightly secure so there is no chance of anyone getting ill or unwell.”
Root felt it was unlikely to be a problem faced by him alone. “It will be a challenge from that side, and there will be other guys involved as well that will have similar problems,” he said. “I suppose we’ve got to be quite flexible in these times, we’ve got to move with what’s happening. You look at what’s happened in the last eight weeks, and I’m sure it will take seven-eight weeks for a preparation phase to happen, so within that space of time, things can drastically change. We could be in a very different position to what we are right now.”
Cricket in England has been postponed until at least July 1, with a rescheduled calendar of fixtures not released. They were originally set to face West Indies and Pakistan in two three-match World Test Championship series, as well as limited-overs encounters against Australia, Ireland, and Pakistan.