England cricketers to begin training after aborting Sri Lanka tour | Sunday Observer

England cricketers to begin training after aborting Sri Lanka tour

File picture of England players at a match
File picture of England players at a match

England players will begin individual training next week in the first step to returning to action after the coronavirus shutdown.

Bowlers will have staggered sessions at various county grounds with a coach, physio and, where possible, a strength and conditioning coach in attendance.

Other players will return to practice two weeks later.

“These are very tentative steps to returning to play,” said England director of cricket Ashley Giles. There will be no cricket in England or Wales until at least 1 July, a shutdown which has meant the postponement of the Test series against West Indies, which was scheduled for June.

With the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in talks with Cricket West Indies (CWI) over the rescheduling of those three Tests, Giles said the return to training coincides with a seven-week build-up to what could be the start of the series on 8 July.

About 30 players - centrally contracted and from the county system - will be invited to train at 11 venues. The players and venues will be confirmed on Monday. The ECB will also use some county coaches and staff.

On Wednesday, the government issued guidelines on how elite athletes were able to return to training, with further guidance on greater contact between players and coaches due in the coming weeks.

In line with government advice, the ECB will implement the following protocols:

=Each individual will observe strict social-distancing

=Players and support staff will arrive in training kit ready to practise

=Players and support staff will have their temperatures taken before they are allowed to take part

=Medical staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to treat injuries. The PPE will be sourced and funded by the ECB

=Dressing rooms and other venue facilities will be closed

England’s women will return to training in late June, while the ECB is expecting to provide an update on when the 18 first-class counties can return to training by the end of May.