Playing in empty stadiums might affect Ben Stokes’ performance: Darren Gough
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Former England fast-bowler Darren Gough feels all-rounder Ben Stokes” performance might be affected ”just a little bit” if international cricket is played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have seen Ben Stokes whenever there is a big game on, when there is something really at stake in a match, he steps up and always delivers,” the 49-year-old was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“So it will be interesting to see how someone like him, the greatest cricketer arguably in the world at the moment, how he performs with no crowd. I think it might affect his performance just a little bit,” he said.

England are scheduled to take on the West Indies in a bio-secure environment for a proposed three-match series in July, the first such series after the coronavirus break.

Gough, who played 58 Tests and 159 ODIs for England, added it will be interesting to see how different players react to closed-door matches.

“I don’t think it makes any difference to the players. Of course some players react to crowds more than others. Graham Gooch used to say that about me. He used to say the bigger the crowd they better I play,” he said.

“But for some players it doesn’t matter, they will still deliver. We are talking about small percentages in performance.”

England Test captain Joe Root is likely to miss the first-Test of the three-match series. Root’s wife, Carrie, is due to give birth to their second child at the start of July and the first Test in Southampton is scheduled to begin on July 8.

(With agency inputs)