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Joe Root optimistic for Test series against Pakistan

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England captain Joe Root has said he is “very optimistic” Test cricket will take place in his side’s 2020 home season even if that means the squad have to go into more than two months’ of quarantine.

With Britain currently in lockdown because of the coronavirus, a three-Test series against the West Indies scheduled for June has been postponed, with Pakistan due to visit later in a season whose start has now been delayed until July 1 at the earliest.

In a bid to salvage the most lucrative matches following a warning from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison that a totally wiped out season could cost the board £380 million ($469 million, some reports have suggested an expanded squad of up to 30 could remain in camp for as long as nine weeks, with Tests played behind closed doors.

Root said as long as the British government relaxed lockdown rules sufficiently to let the matches go ahead some international matches could yet be salvaged from an otherwise possibly barren campaign.

“I’m very optimistic, hopefully that can be the case and it would be a real shame if it wasn’t,” he told the Cricket show on Sky Sports on Thursday.

“I think a number of people are desperate to see live sport back on telly (television) and the guys are all very much missing playing and would love to get back out there.”

Root, who saw England cut short a tour of Sri Lanka in March because of the threat of COVID-19, praised the recent input of ECB medics as he stressed: “Safety is paramount and we need to make sure everyone involved is absolutely safe.

“I’m sure the discussions will progress and we’ll get more information and get closer and closer to cricket being back on and international cricket being played.”