England test skipper Joe Root opened up about the Sri Lanka tour getting canceled. He admitted that there was an “element of relief” after their Test series in Sri Lanka had to be called off, amid the wildly spread the novel coronavirus Covid-19.
“There was an element of relief. The right decision has been made,” Root told PA before the squad left from Sri Lanka.
“You could see looking at the players that their minds were elsewhere thinking about people back home. Now that we can go and look after families and be with loved ones that have put a lot of guys at ease.”
The majority of the main and high priority cricketing events have been canceled or postponed except for the ongoing Pakistan Super League.
The England team was in contact with the British High Commission in Colombo throughout their stay in Sri Lanka, where the team managed to play a couple of practice games ahead of the two-Test series.
“There were a number of different scenarios we could have found ourselves in that were pretty scary, to be honest,” said Root.
“You think how things might have gone – being in isolation here, disconnected from the team, without the security we would usually have around us at the ground or the hotel. If one of the lads was to get it in these conditions, or a member of the public traveling, it could be quite a scary experience.
“Naturally there was a lot of talk in the dressing room and it got to a stage where it overshadowed the cricket. Looking at how quickly things have happened at home, you’re thinking about family and friends who might be a bit more vulnerable and that’s hard when you’re a long way away. It was clear it was getting in the way of performance and affecting the mental well-being of the guys.”
Since there is no clarity as to when the games would be resuming, Root mentioned that the team would go according to the flow. He also stated that it would be “very strange” if the series happens to be played behind closed doors.
“We don’t know when we’ll play again,” he said.
“I suppose you can’t have mass gatherings so there won’t be many training camps. I’m sure over the coming weeks we’ll prepare and do everything we can to be as ready as possible, but until we know more, it’s just a case of common sense. Look after yourself, condition well and be ready to start.”