England's 'stir-crazy' Jason Roy happy to play behind closed doors

03 May 2020 - 18:00 By Reuters
In this file photo taken on September 03, 2019 England's Jason Roy takes part in a training session at Old Trafford in Manchester.
In this file photo taken on September 03, 2019 England's Jason Roy takes part in a training session at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Image: Paul ELLIS / AFP

England's Jason Roy is ready to play in empty stadiums if the post-coronavirus situation demands so, said the opener who got a taste of it in his last outing.

Roy played a Pakistan Super League match on May 7 which took place behind closed doors in Lahore just before the Covid-19 pandemic halted international sports across the globe.

"There was no atmosphere, simple as that," the Durban-born batsman, a key figure in England's 2019 Cricket World Cup winning squad last year, told British media.

"It was very strange. As a batsman when the bowler’s running in you learn to block out the crowd, but as soon as the ball is done you can hear them going absolutely berserk.

"(In Lahore) there was just dead silence.

"You could hear your mate calling ones and twos, so you don’t just have to work off each other’s body language.

"It was hard to get up for it. But it was something we knew we had to deal with."

Playing without fans has been suggested as one possible way to resume cricket as soon as the pandemic subsides and Roy was ready to adjust.

"I'm more than happy to play behind closed doors. It would just be nice to get out there. I feel like a kid again," he said, adding he was "going a bit stir crazy" in the shutdown.

The global health crisis and the restrictions it has forced have clouded the outlook for this year's 2020 Twenty20 Cricket World Cup scheduled in Australia.

"If players aren’t able to prepare in the right way and are unable to get over to Australia, then it makes sense to postpone it," Roy said of the tournament scheduled in October-November.

"But if it goes ahead and we’re told we have three weeks to prepare all the boys will be putting in the hard yards to make sure we’re ready."


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