Chris Woakes says players would be open to being in quarantine at grounds to help cricket return

England all-rounder Chris Woakes believes players would be happy to spend up to a month in quarantine at a ground if it paved the way for cricket to be played behind closed doors.

The International Cricket Council is due to discuss the key factors each of its member nations need to address in the face of the coronavirus pandemic before the sport can resume at a meeting of its Chief Executives’ Committee on Thursday.

With professional cricket suspended in England until at least May 28, the England and Wales Cricket Board continues to draw up and discuss a range of fixture contingencies for how the remainder of the season could play out.

One potential scenario could involve players living at hotels located in the grounds of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Hampshire and, while there, play a series of matches but with spectators absent.

Warwickshire seamer Woakes said that while any such move would make family life difficult for some players – and would have to adhere to governmental advice on COVID-19 – it is a potential first step.

“If the players had to be put in quarantine for a period of time I think players would be happy to do so,” said Woakes.

“If after this, what everyone in the world has been going through, cricket was allowed to come back again and it was at a venue where there was space for players on site then I think players would be happy to do that but obviously it depends on how long it is to be for.

“If it was going to be a three-four week window then I think guys would be open to being able to do that without too many issues.”

Woakes remains committed to representing England for as long as he can in all three formats of the game although he concedes that a spot in the T20 team is unlikely “unless something drastic happens in terms of injuries”.

The 31-year-old – whose career has been plagued but not derailed by persistent knee trouble – says that his body “is in as good a place as it has been for a good few years” thanks to a well-managed training regime and that he’s hungry to add to his 33 Test and 101 ODI caps after a progressive winter abroad.

Woakes took match figures of 4-95 in the drawn second Test against New Zealand in November and, after spending nearly a week in his sick bed over Christmas at the start of the South Africa tour, picked up 2-85 in the fourth Test win at Johannesburg as Joe Root’s side ran out 3-1 victors.

Although there remains a clear discrepancy between his record at home and abroad – he has 70 wickets at 23.45 in England in comparison to 25 at 51.68 overseas – Woakes says that in future a more-attacking mindset when bowling abroad should help him close the gap.

“I’m the first one to admit that my away record hasn’t been as good as my home,” he said. “I feel like in the past when I’ve played away from home I haven’t had a huge amount of opportunity – it has been the odd Test match here and there, and a lot in the sub-continent where fast bowlers don’t play a huge role.

“But I feel like this winter was a little bit of a breakthrough for me. I did a little bit of work with Chris Silverwood and Darren Gough just on the lengths that I bowl away from home; I think that in the past I’ve been a little bit safe and bowled a little bit short whereas with the Kookaburra you’ve still got to give it a chance to move laterally by getting it up there. I also got an opportunity to bowl with the new ball.”

Earlier this week Sussex head coach and former Australia quick Jason Gillespie suggested that the coronavirus pandemic could affect how bowlers attempt to retain the shine on a new ball in the future – a process usually achieved by polishing with saliva and sweat.

Woakes said that if conventional practices were to be modified, it could lead to a change in the way swing bowlers operate.

“I try and use as much sweat as possible rather than put my hands in my mouth, just from a normal hygiene point of view,” he explained.

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