Tip News

August 04, 2020

Pope confident England can thrive without fans - Tip News

Pope confident England can thrive without fans

Pope confident England can thrive without fans
'No fans, no problem - England batsman Ollie Pope' - By: AFP Ishara S. KODIKARA

England batsman Ollie Pope is adamant the absence of fans will have no bearing on England's intensity when they face the West Indies in next week's first Test.

The Ageas Bowl will be devoid of any spectators on health grounds when international cricket returns for the first time since the global coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday's opening day of a three-match series.

England got a taste of what to expect while playing a three-day intra-squad practice match at Hampshire's headquarters, between a side led by Jos Buttler and one captained by stand-in Test skipper Ben Stokes, that ended on Friday in a draw.

There have been suggestions the silence could be broken by piping in crowd noise or having music play between overs, as can happen in one-day games.

But Pope, who made an unbeaten 55 on Friday, said the fundamentals that come with representing your country had not altered.

- 'Really up for it' -

"When we have big crowds in and the Barmy Army are here it is amazing but we'll still be playing Test cricket and it's still the pinnacle," he said.

"Even if there's not a single person in the crowd it's still what we all dreamt of doing. There will still be the same nerves in the morning because so much rides on it," added the 22-year-old.

"When that Test match starts up, crowd or no crowd, you are going to be really up for it."

England fast bowler Mark Wood tried to compensate for the absence of any fans at one point during the warm-up game with a solo rendition of 'Jerusalem', the team's theme song, while waving a flag as the teams walked out to play.

"I hope he does it again, it was outstanding. He's got the voice of an angel," said Pope.

Pope's 50 was one of several promising innings on Friday, with seven more players passing 30.

Fellow specialist batsmen Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley all spent time at the crease while all-rounder Stokes hit three sixes in a Matt Parkinson over during his 33 not out before a draw was agreed.

Perhaps the most encouraging news for England on Friday came from off the field when Pope's Surrey colleague Tom Curran tested negative for COVID-19.

Curran had spent Thursday's play self-isolating in his on-site hotel room after feeling unwell the previous night.

But the all-rounder was able to watch Friday's final session from pitch-side.

"I think we were trying to focus on the cricket but I don't know how you deal with those situations," Pope said of Curran's health scare.

"It's good he tested negative for the virus and he's feeling a lot better and ready to go. It was nice to see him back out there today."

England are set to reduce their training group from 29 to a Test squad of 22 on Saturday, with regular captain Joe Root having already left camp to attend the birth of his second child.

Short link: https://tipnews.com/u/MTM1NTcz

See also:

Related articles

Leverkusen quarantine Amiri after COVID-19 contact

Leverkusen quarantine Amiri after COVID-19 contact

Bayer Leverkusen said on Tuesday midfielder Nadiem Amiri is in quarantine having had contact with someone who has COVID-19 and will miss this week's Europa League clash at home to Rangers.Leverkusen said the 23-year-old attacking midfielder had "brief contac

Indy 500 scraps plans for fans over COVID fears

Indy 500 scraps plans for fans over COVID fears

The organisers of the Indy 500 on Tuesday abandoned plans to allow spectators at this year's race, citing concerns over COVID-19.A statement from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said the decision had been taken after "extensive consultation with state and ci

Marquez out of Czech MotoGP after second operation on arm

Marquez out of Czech MotoGP after second operation on arm

Reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will miss his second straight race after he was ruled out of Sunday's Czech Grand Prix following another operation on his fractured right arm, his team said Tuesday."After undergoing a second operation on his injur

Spain and Real Madrid legend Casillas retires

Spain and Real Madrid legend Casillas retires

Spain's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Iker Casillas announced his retirement on Tuesday, after being sidelined for more than a year with a heart problem.Casillas, 39, also won the European Championship twice with his country in a trophy-laden career which incl



HELLO, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO RATE THIS POST Pope confident England can thrive without fans

Sending comment Close