Eoin Morgan admits England players could pull out of international cricket tours this year if the coronavirus bio-secure bubble begins to affect their mental health
- England are preparing for a white-ball cricket tour of South Africa next month
- Eoin Morgan claims players will quit tours if the Covid-19 bubble is too difficult
- This step would be made to protect their mental health in difficult circumstances
Eoin Morgan has warned England players will pull out of tours to protect their mental health due to the strains of life in cricket’s bio-secure bubbles.
Speaking at an online event for cricket charity Chance to Shine, World Cup-winning captain Morgan reflected on the need to listen to individuals who ask to be released following months of being restricted to hotel rooms and cricket grounds.
‘We’ve spoken about this as a team and we’ve accepted that guys will come in and out of the bubble as they feel it is affecting their mental health,’ Morgan said.
Eoin Morgan has warned England players will pull out of tours to protect their mental health
The England captain (right) claims that the bio-secure Covid-19 bubbles could affect players
‘I do think we will see people pull out of tours. That is just going to be the reality of things. I don’t think people should look down on it and they shouldn’t feel like people aren’t doing their job or not committing to their country.
‘You can drill a player mentally and physically and it can cause extreme burn out, which no one wants to see.
‘That is a reactive way of dealing with things and we want to be at the forefront of making it acceptable for people to say “I need to spend time with my family now and I’m taking this tour off,” just because of the extraordinary circumstances.’
One player who may be a beneficiary of such a stance is fast bowler Jofra Archer, who spent more time in England bubbles than any other player last summer and then headed straight to the Indian Premier League.
Jofra Archer has been busy this year as he’s played in England and the Indian Premier League
There is potential for him to play just the Twenty20 leg of the proposed tour of South Africa next month before flying to Barbados for an extended break leading up to Christmas.
Meanwhile, Morgan believes England are duty-bound to help other countries back onto their feet ahead of a tour of two limited-overs series against the Proteas being confirmed.
‘There is a huge amount of responsibility not only to get just your home country’s fixtures under way but to facilitate other countries around the world and do what we can to try to get cricket back on.
Morgan admits there is a huge responsibility to get cricket up and running once again
‘Not only does it mean a huge amount to people in lockdown in their own countries, in this case South Africa, but also for Cricket South Africa financially.
‘I know the worry we had about potentially not bowling a ball all summer and the detrimental impact on grassroots cricket more importantly than any other part of the game, so if the tour goes ahead we would love to be there – the series we had last time was incredible.’
England went behind in both one-day and T20 series earlier this year, coming back to secure a 1-1 draw and 2-1 win respectively.
Morgan’s England were undefeated in their white-ball season during a difficult summer
Morgan’s words come at a time when the ECB are in talks with Pakistan over an invitation to play a whistle-stop series of T20s in the first week of January, in what would be England’s first visit to the country since 2005.
Such a trip is viewed as a thank you to Pakistan for helping salvage the English summer by fulfilling Test and Twenty20 obligations, and limiting Covid-induced losses for the ECB to around £100million.