- Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo
James Andersonsays he would welcome a return home if England’s players are allowed to break free of their biosecure bubble between Test series.
The ECB are considering a proposal to allow their players to leave the team camp that they have occupied for nearly a month, and visit their families between the end of the current series against West Indies and the start of the first Test against Pakistan on August 5.
“I’ve heard whispers of it,” said Anderson from the Sky Sports player zone during the fourth day of the second Test against West Indies, from which he is being rested. “Nothing confirmed.
“Obviously it’d be nice if we can get home for a few days in between the series but, yeah, at the moment we’ve not had anything confirmed so we’ll just keep our fingers crossed on that one.”
Any break from the biosecure arrangements is likely to be for a maximum of three nights and would be subject to approval from the UK government and the Pakistan Cricket Board.
It is understood that Pakistan would not object to the England players being allowed to return home for a few days before their series and would not seek a release for their own squad to emerge from their training bubble.
Several members of Pakistan’s touring squad tested positive for Covid-19 before leaving their home country, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. All served an isolation period and returned negative tests before travelling to the UK.
Anderson said while a break would be welcome, he could understand if it didn’t happen. “Yeah, it’s been different, but it’s not… I can’t say it’s been hard because we’re in a hotel, you know, we’ve got nice surroundings,” he said.
“We’re looked after well. And yes, we’ve had to do things slightly differently, but we’re getting to play cricket which is, you know, amazing really after the last few months. So we’re just grateful for that.
“If we can get home for a few days in between games then brilliant. If not, we’ll just have to knuckle down and realise it’ll be another three or four weeks through that Pakistan series before we can get home properly.”
The third Test against West Indies is due to finish at Emirates Old Trafford on July 28 and the first of three Tests against Pakistan begins i