Playing in Complete Silence Will Take Some Getting Used to: Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer (IANS)

England pacer Jofra Archer says that playing in front of empty stands will surely be a strange experience and will take some time to adjust to.  The prospect of cricket matches going ahead, when they do, without fans is getting stronger with each passing day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There’s a possibility that even the ICC Men’s T20 World, to be held in Australia later this year, will be held without fans.

“Yes, it will be hard to play in a stadium without supporters but I understand it is necessary for things to start that way as we won’t be able to test every single fan wanting to come into the ground,” Archer wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

“Although the crowd is an aspect we can sort out later, I think it will be one of those things you don’t realise how much you need until it’s gone. Take it away, and we will realise how much the supporters mean to us,”  he added.

Archer, however, suggested introducing innovations including crowd simulation to create an atmosphere including clapping and cheering whenever something significant happens on the field.

“Playing in complete silence will take some getting used to, I would imagine, so I think it might be useful to play some music, some simulations of a crowd, something to create an atmosphere,” he wrote.

He continued, “The best solution, if we do have to play behind closed doors, might be to have cheers and clapping when someone hits the ball for four or a wicket falls. These are the little things that will make it as normal as possible even though it won’t be a normal occasion.”

England’s upcoming series against West Indies, Pakistan and Australia is in doubt with the situation precarious in the UK.

Archer, who played a vital role in England’s ODI World Cup win last year, said he won’t mind getting tested everyday if it becomes a requirement to ensure bio-secure environment.

“…it’s got to the stage where I don’t really care about much else than playing right now. It feels like we’ve already missed half a summer. And my feeling is that if we can just get a start, at some point, things will only get easier. For me, starting is the hardest part,”  he wrote.

“I’d be very happy to undergo coronavirus and temperature tests daily. Obviously, if you got infected, you would have to leave the group. And the prospect of being all together in a hotel for several weeks does not bother me at all. I haven’t seen the guys in a while and I am sure it will feel more like a reunion than a term in prison,” he added.