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Misbah calls for behind-closed-doors England series to lift 'depressed' fans

The Men in Green were scheduled for a tour of England, which was due to start on July 30, consisting of three Tests and three T20Is

Misbah calls for behind-closed-doors England series to lift 'depressed' fans PHOTO: Reuters

Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq, while talking to Stats Perform, has called for a behind-closed-doors England series in order to lift the depressed fans that are currently practicing social distancing in their respective homes.

The Men in Green were scheduled for a tour of England, which was due to start on July 30, consisting of three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). However, the current circumstances, due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, has made the tour uncertain.

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The 45-year-old stated that people were currently locked inside their houses and cricket could provide an avenue for entertainment to the depressed.

“It's not ideal obviously, you'd love to go there and perform in an atmosphere with spectators — they are the most important part of any sport. It's not ideal, but if you look at it another way, people are mostly locked down in their homes and no sport is going on at the moment,” said Misbah.

“They have nothing to watch and mostly Covid-19 news everywhere and people are depressed. In that sort of situation, if we can start sports, if we can start cricket, at least fans can watch that cricket on TV sitting at home and they can enjoy it. If you look at in that way, I think if we can do that with proper safety barriers and nobody is in danger, I think we can just go ahead and start from somewhere,” he added.

The former Pakistan captain stressed that the players were responsible for maintaining fitness standards during these testing times.

“I think in this situation, it's more towards individual responsibility as professionals; what we can do, how we are working. We are obviously just trying to communicate to the players that whenever we hit the ground again, the basic thing we need would be fitness. Obviously, if we are fit enough, if we maintain our fitness levels, we can regain our form or skill quickly,” he said.

Misbah claimed that fitness was the most vital aspect for the players because the team would want to hit the ground running as soon as the situation normalises.

“If we lose our fitness in these isolation periods then it's going to be tough because once we are back on the job it will be difficult for us to either work on the skill or fitness. It’s important for the players to physically and mentally prepare yourself,” he concluded.