@Yas_Wisden 2 minute read
Joe Root has said that if England’s postponed tour to Sri Lanka is rescheduled for early 2021, it would be a “very tough winter” for the squad’s cross-format players.
With the World Test Championship final set to take place at Lord’s in June 2021, there are few obvious times where England could feasibly recommence their tour to Sri Lanka if the final isn’t shifted to a later date.
England already have an arduous winter on the cards with the T20 World Cup sandwiched in-between a white-ball and a red-ball tour of India. It is perhaps pertinent that India have an even busier winter scheduled, with a four-Test series in Australia planned between the T20 World Cup and the five-Test home series against England.
Root admitted that the prospect of squeezing in the Sri Lanka series either just before or just after the second India tour would result in a “very tough winter” for the players, but one the players and the management team would have to adapt for. “It would be a very tough winter. It would be a huge amount of workload on some of the players, especially the multi-format players,” said Root.
“We have had to endure some quite tough winters in the past and found ways to get through them. In many ways it will be interesting to see how they can fit it in looking at the schedule as it is right now. If it goes ahead that way we will have to be able to adapt, look at squad sizes we take over and it will be quite different and make sure guys are not blown out, overworked, throughout that period.”
England are the team in the World Test Championship whose schedule is worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the seven series set to be played from March to this year’s T20 World Cup, England were due to play in three of them, leaving them with more potential rescheduling headaches than anyone else. Aside from England, only Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were scheduled to play more than one series in that period.