Players can’t stay in ‘bubbles’ too long, says ECB’s Giles

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(Reuters) – The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will monitor players’ mental health and try to limit the amount of time they spend in bio-secure bubbles during the COVID-19 pandemic, director of cricket Ashley Giles said.

England hosted West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan and Australia after cricket’s restart in July, with the teams restricted to bio-secure environments in Manchester and Southampton.

Eoin Morgan’s limited overs side will face similar curbs on movement when they visit South Africa for six matches in November and December.

“These are extreme circumstances for everyone — it is not normal spending a long period of time in a bio-secure environment,” Giles told Sky Sports.

“We are working on strategies to get people in and out of bubbles easier, whether that be players or management, and that will need the cooperation of opposition teams.”

Morgan, one of several England players currently within the Indian Premier League’s bubble in the United Arab Emirates, said last week players could withdraw from upcoming international tours if they were worried about their mental health.

“We are very aware we have a huge amount of cricket coming up and we can’t keep the same people in those bubbles the whole time,” added Giles.

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