Jos Buttler: England wicketkeeper admits to 'some anxieties' over return to action

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
'Naturally there are some anxieties about leaving this situation' - Buttler

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler says he feels some apprehension about leaving the coronavirus-enforced lockdown to return to action.

There will be no cricket played until at least 1 July, but details on how England players can train are set to be revealed on Thursday.

"As the time has gone on, you find your new routine, get used to being at home," said Buttler.

"Naturally there are some anxieties about leaving this situation."

Buttler was part of the England squad that returned home from the postponed tour of Sri Lanka in March.

The England and Wales Cricket Board initially shut down all cricket until 28 May, then extended that period until July, meaning the postponement of the three-Test series against West Indies.

Talks with Cricket West Indies about rescheduling that series, with matches perhaps being played in 'bio-secure' environments, are ongoing.

In the meantime, the relaxation of the lockdown in England has led to the possibility of players returning to some form of training.

"I'm reading and hearing things that it could be imminent, in the next week or two," Lancashire's Buttler told BBC Sport.

"I think to start with that would be individual training in a socially distant manner, maybe just you and a coach. As a batter, I could get someone to throw balls at me. We would stay apart and travel to a ground in our own cars. We'd go straight to the nets, then leave."

England players have been briefed by ECB director of cricket Ashley Giles and chief medical officer Dr Nick Peirce over the procedures that would surround their return to action.

Although members of the squad have frequently said they will trust the advice they are given, Buttler admitted there will still be "anxieties around going into a completely new situation".

The 29-year-old added: "It's going to be very alien to everyone because we've never experienced this before, so you try to get your head around what it might look like, the situations you might come up against and to have some coping strategies for that.

"In a few days I hope to have my own guidelines as to what I'm happy with and if I can't get the assurance of 'X', then I'll feel that's not quite right for me.

"That is just so I feel completely happy to be able concentrate on cricket, rather than the other things."

Buttler, who has played 41 Tests and was part of the England team that won the World Cup in 2019, also confirmed that players will be under no pressure to return if they feel uncomfortable with what they are being asked to do.

"We can make decisions ourselves," he said. "If we're not happy, not comfortable, there is no pressure to do something we don't want to do. That will look different for everyone.

"Hopefully they can put in a place a very safe environment that everyone would feel comfortable with. It's an ever-evolving situation and the more information we get, the more decisions we can make."

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