Saturday, August 8

Fans or No Fans, Test Cricket is Pinnacle and Exciting: England’s Ollie Pope

Fans or No Fans, Test Cricket is Pinnacle and Exciting: England's Ollie Pope

England batsman Ollie Pope is adamant the absence of followers can have no bearing on England’s depth once they face the West Indies in subsequent week’s first Test.

The Ageas Bowl might be devoid of any spectators on well being grounds when worldwide cricket returns for the primary time for the reason that world coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday’s opening day of a three-match sequence.

England obtained a style of what to anticipate whereas taking part in a three-day intra-squad observe match at Hampshire’s headquarters, between a aspect led by Jos Buttler and one captained by stand-in Test skipper Ben Stokes, that ended on Friday in a draw.

ALSO READ: England’s Sam Curran Tests Negative for Coronavirus

There have been strategies the silence might be damaged by piping in crowd noise or having music play between overs, as can occur in one-day video games.

But Pope, who made an unbeaten 55 on Friday, mentioned the basics that include representing your nation had not altered.

– ‘Really up for it’ –

“When we have big crowds in and the Barmy Army are here it is amazing but we’ll still be playing Test cricket and it’s still the pinnacle,” he mentioned.

“Even if there’s not a single person in the crowd it’s still what we all dreamt of doing. There will still be the same nerves in the morning because so much rides on it,” added the 22-year-old.

“When that Test match starts up, crowd or no crowd, you are going to be really up for it.”

England quick bowler Mark Wood tried to compensate for the absence of any followers at one level throughout the warm-up recreation with a solo rendition of ‘Jerusalem’, the group’s theme music, whereas waving a flag because the groups walked out to play.

“I hope he does it again, it was outstanding. He’s got the voice of an angel,” mentioned Pope.

Pope’s 50 was one in all a number of promising innings on Friday, with seven extra gamers passing 30.

Fellow specialist batsmen Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley all frolicked on the crease whereas all-rounder Stokes hit three sixes in a Matt Parkinson over throughout his 33 not out earlier than a draw was agreed.

Perhaps probably the most encouraging news for England on Friday got here from off the sphere when Pope’s Surrey colleague Tom Curran examined destructive for COVID-19.

Curran had spent Thursday’s play self-isolating in his on-site lodge room after feeling unwell the earlier evening.

But the all-rounder was in a position to watch Friday’s ultimate session from pitch-side.

“I think we were trying to focus on the cricket but I don’t know how you deal with those situations,” Pope mentioned of Curran’s well being scare.

“It’s good he tested negative for the virus and he’s feeling a lot better and ready to go. It was nice to see him back out there today.”

England are set to cut back their coaching group from 29 to a Test squad of 22 on Saturday, with common captain Joe Root having already left camp to attend the delivery of his second little one.

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