Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq, in an interview with Stats Perform, has suggested an empty-stadium series against England in order to lift the depressed fans that are currently practicing social distancing at their houses.
Pakistan are to tour England on July 30 to play 3 Tests and as many Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). However, given the ongoing crisis, this series much like most other sporting events across the world, seems uncertain.
Misbah stated that people are currently locked up in their homes and the resumption of the sport could provide some entertainment to their minds.
“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 skipper stressed the importance of players maintaining fitness and focus during this hard period.
“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 added that fitness was the most important aspect for the players because the team would want action to resume as soon as things get back to normal.
“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.