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Cricket should be on back burner until COVID-19 situation improves – Wood

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Cricket's return should not be a priority while the country is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, England fast bowler Mark Wood has said as he questioned whether everyone involved in a match would be safe.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket – South Africa v England – Fourth Test – Imperial Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa – January 27, 2020 England's Mark Wood celebrates with a stump after winning the test and series REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

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REUTERS: Cricket's return should not be a priority while the country is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, England fast bowler Mark Wood has said as he questioned whether everyone involved in a match would be safe.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last month extended the suspension of the professional game until July 1 but England players will return to individual skills-based training next week in venues across the country.

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The government said elite sport can return in June without spectators in attendance and the ECB is looking at hosting a three-test series against West Indies in July, possibly at 'bio-secure' venues.

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"The nation wants to see sport and we want to play sport, but first and foremost it is safety first," Wood told Reuters.

"Are the players going to be safe, the overseas players, the management, caterers, cameramen, is everybody going to be alright?… Cricket sort of has to be on the back burner while every thing else gets better.

"As much as we would love to play sport and want sport back, I think it has to be about the nation and getting things back together and making sure people's safety and key workers and the NHS (National Health Service) are looked after."

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The United Kingdom has over 240,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far and it leads Europe with nearly 34,500 deaths.

Social distancing protocols Read More – Source