Ashley Giles insists England stars have 'no excuses' over fitness

‘There is no real excuse why the players can’t keep themselves fit’: Ashley Giles insists England stars should be ready to play when cricket returns after coronavirus shutdown

  • All domestic cricket is currently postponed until May 28 but may be extended 
  • England team director Ashley Giles insisted players should be fit when it returns
  • Giles is confident Test and one-day internationals could be played this summer 

Ashley Giles says England’s players will have ‘no excuses’ for not being fully fit to start a truncated cricket season he still believes can take place later this summer.

While the ECB’s postponement of all cricket until May 28 looks certain next week to be extended indefinitely, England’s team director is still optimistic this summer’s Test and white-ball programmes can be delayed until it is safe to return.

And in the meantime Giles wants to ensure the top cricketers are ready to play ‘a big role in bringing the country back to its feet’ when the coronavirus crisis has eased.

England team director Ashley Giles hopes cricket can still be played after shutdown ends

‘There is no real excuse why the players can’t keep themselves fit during this period,’ said the former England spinner in a conference call. 

‘You could be jumping up and down in your front room. You could go for a jog and you can use your home fitness equipment.

‘There’s a full range of stuff our players could be doing so they are ready when we get that green light. We might be quite rushed at that point but at least physically they will be ready to get on with it.’

Giles also insisted that England’s players should remain fit ahead of cricket’s return

Giles, who would hope for ‘one or two’ warm-up games before any international fixtures, is in constant contact with the boards of West Indies and Pakistan, who are due to play Test series here this summer, and those of Australia and Ireland, scheduled to play white-ball games.

He believes they are flexible in terms of when they could fulfil their fixtures – with August and September being cricket’s best hope of a resumption and matches likely to be played behinds closed doors – and confirmed England are considering picking two squads to play both forms around the same time.

‘We are looking at how far back we can push the summer,’ said Giles. ‘By no means would it be ideal to have two squads but this goes beyond that and nothing is off the table. We will do whatever it takes to keep the lights on.’

But Giles does not believe Joe Root’s Test team and Eoin Morgan’s T20 or 50-over side would actually play on the same day. ‘Technically it’s feasible because you would have two different groups but I don’t think it’s possible to play on the same day,’ he added. ‘Instead you could have a Test running and play a T20 or one-day international the day before or after.’

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