CRICKET: Whole summer is up in the air – Jack Brooks – Oxford Mail

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JACK Brooks admits nobody can be sure whether there will be any cricket this summer.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the whole country to a standstill, with sport shut down indefinitely.

It means the professionals are in the same situation as the rest of the nation, forced to stay inside and unable to do their normal training regime.

While the football season is three-quarters complete, cricket was originally due to get under way in the next month.

However, the England & Wales County Board announced last week no games can take place until the end of May at the earliest.

And Brooks, a former Oxfordshire bowler who is now plying his trade with Somerset, admits he feels there’s every chance that date will be pushed back even further.

“Everybody is in the same situation aren’t they?” Brooks said.

“It isn’t just cricketers, it is the whole country.

“We were training up until last Friday with Somerset, with the club letting the lads decide if they wanted to come in.

“If we did, there was only two people at a time allowed in the gym, and whereas normally there are five or six inside lanes in use for batting and bowling, only two were in operation at different ends of the hall.

“So they were doing all they could to restrict contact, but obviously that changed this week.”

He added: “We have now been told no gyms, no cricket and only one bit of exercise a day, so it’s a case of what you can do at home.

“I took a couple of things home from the gym, so whilst I am not going to come back looking like Arnie, I can at least do a few things to try to tick over.”

With all cricket shut down until at least May 29, nobody knows how much – if any – of the season will be able to be played.

And Brooks feels it will be the shorter versions of the game that come back first, if they are able.

“With the amount of money Sky put into the sport, they will want to prioritise the T20 and Hundred – because that is quicker to bring back and worth more financially,” he said.

“If the County Championship can be played, I think it will have to be in a version not seen before because we won’t be able to get a whole season in.

“But at the moment, nobody knows if and when that will be,”

Although the 35-year-old is eager for the sport to resume as soon as possible, the delay did provide one source of comfort.

“I had been struggling with an Achilles injury this winter and if the season started now, I wouldn’t be fit,” he said.

“But that isn’t really a factor right now.

“What’s important is that people all try to stay safe and we get through this as a country.”

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