Rory Burns says life in England’s bio-secure bubble takes toll

Rory Burns says life in England’s bio-secure bubble takes toll

England opener Rory Burns said limits on movement in and out of bio-secure bubbles took a toll on his mental health during the home summer and may restrict his availability for upcoming international tours.

Players have been living in bubbles since international cricket resumed in July after the COVID-19 hiatus, with strict rules enforced to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Burns posted 234 runs in the three Tests against West Indies but followed up with just 20 runs across three games against Pakistan.

“Bubble life was different. It’s not something I personally enjoyed that much,” Burns told London’s Evening Standard. “When I have played my best, it’s when cricket’s not been the be-all and end-all.”

“I like to go for a coffee, see a mate or my missus; refreshing yourself by not thinking cricket — and that’s a lot harder to do in the bubble setting. That was the main challenge for me.”

Burns said he may choose to miss England’s rescheduled tour of Sri Lanka in January for the birth of his first child.

“I’m waiting to see what the dates are. I don’t know them yet, so it’s a judgment call closer to the time,” he added.

Another England opener, Tom Banton, pulled out of Brisbane Heat’s upcoming Big Bash League campaign on Saturday, having struggled to cope with living in a bio-secure environment.

“It has been harder than I thought, spending so much time in the hubs and bubbles, and I came to the realisation that it wasn’t doing me much good,” Banton said.

Banton is now on England’s limited-overs tour of South Africa, during which the first one-day international was postponed after a player for the home side tested positive for the virus.

 

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