April 23, 2020 / 4:28 AM / a month ago

Players ready to be quarantined to play matches - Woakes

FILE PHOTO: England's Chris Woakes arrives at the hotel after England's two test matches against Sri Lanka under the ICC World Test Championship have been postponed due to fears over the coronavirus, in Colombo, Sri Lanka March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

LONDON (Reuters) - England’s cricketers would agree to be quarantined together in one location if it means they will be allowed to play matches after the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the season, all-rounder Chris Woakes said on Wednesday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has said the season will not start before May 28 and British media reported players could be asked to stay at hotels near grounds and play matches without spectators present.

"If the players had to be put in quarantine for a period of time I think players would be happy to do so," Woakes was quoted as saying by the Telegraph here

“If after this... 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 said they would only return if medical experts deem it safe to do so but that players would not be willing to stay away from their families for an extended period of time.

“There are a lot of people with young families,” he added. “I’m not sure how it would work... The guys have started to think about playing behind closed doors because it kind of looks like there is a high probability of that happening.”

England are due to host West Indies in a three-test series in June and play two limited-over series against Australia in July. The ECB will meet on Thursday to discuss whether the suspension will be extended beyond May 28.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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