Coronavirus: England batsman Jason Roy eager to play behind closed doors

Coronavirus: England batsman Jason Roy eager to play behind closed doors

Jason Roy feels like a "pawn in the sporting world" waiting for instructions over when he can resume his career.

England batsman Jason Roy is eager to play matches behind closed doors in order to get international cricket back up and running.

Roy acknowledged he feels like a "pawn in the sporting world" amid the coronavirus pandemic and will not needlessly put himself at risk.

But once it is deemed safe to play matches, he is keen to do so even if it means the unusual prospect of international matches taking place without spectators present.

"I'm more than happy to play behind closed doors [in England]," Roy told reporters.

"I just want to play some cricket, to be honest. For us to be able to go out and play some cricket would be an incredible feeling.

"It feels weird. I feel like a kid again but I guess we are governed by the government. There are way bigger things going on.

"I won't be going to my bosses and saying, 'Put me in the front line'. I'll just get told what to do. I'm just a pawn in the sporting world.

"Everyone is missing sport, but safety comes first. If an individual wants to go on to the front line and put himself at risk, then good on him, but if somebody doesn't want to, I don't think they should be criticised.

"I've got a huge amount of trust in the ECB. I think they will look at every single avenue and I'll probably have a chat with Morgs [limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan], see where his head's at and go with that.

"I'm going a bit stir crazy. I?ve got a bat and I?m just shadow-batting in the mirror ? I?m looking pretty good! That?s all I can do apart from hitting a tennis ball against the wall here at home.

"I think all of the boys are on edge, waiting for the call - so we know if we've got a month's turnaround or six weeks to get in the net and hit some balls. The boys will be as ready as they can be."

Roy has experience of playing a recent competitive match behind closed doors.

He played in February's Pakistan Super League contest between Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalandars with no spectators present as COVID-19 was beginning to spread.

"There was no atmosphere - it was as simple as that," reflected Roy. "It was a very strange feeling.

"As a batsman I'm used to it being relatively quiet with the bowler running in - you learn to block out the crowd - but as soon as that ball is done you hear the crowd going absolutely berserk.

"Over there, when that was the case, it was just like dead silence - it was the strangest thing. You could hear your mate calling for ones and twos.

"You don't have to work on body language. It was quite strange and quite hard to get up for but it was just something that we knew we had to deal with."