Norfolk star Stone fit and ready to claim his place in England Test team
- Credit: PA
Norfolk star Olly Stone’s England Test hopes could be helped by the major summer upheaval in the sport due to the coronavirus.
England are hoping the series against West Indies and Pakistan can still go ahead and anaging director Ashley Giles says it would be unfair to keep players in isolation for long periods, meaning rotation and a larger playing group may well be necessary.
And that could help Stone.
“With there being so much in cricket in such a short space of time there’s going to have to be some rotation so people don’t get injured,” the pace bowler told Sky Sports.
“It’s an exciting time, not just for myself but for others who’ve maybe been on the edge of it recently - getting out there and showing what you can do, creating a way in when maybe it wasn’t as close as you may have thought.
“The frustration for me is that I’ve got in and had to pull out with injury but I’ve gone away and worked as hard as I ever have done on my fitness.
“You’re never quite sure when your last match will be if you keep getting injured and people catch up. It’s important now that I get a good run of games in.”
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The 26-year-old, from Norwich, was one of the first players to return to individual training at Edgbaston,The next stage of the plan would involve small net sessions and Stone believes the ECB has handled the cautious escalation of training well so far.
“They (the ECB) said they wouldn’t put us in a situation if they felt it wasn’t safe or if they felt they wouldn’t put themselves in that situation,” said Stone, who made his Test debut against Ireland last summer but missed the Ashes series that followed after suffering a stress fracture of the lower back.
“They’ve been really good at reassuring us and putting the correct measures in place for it to be as safe as possible. All the lads have got behind it and hopefully we will be able to play some sort of cricket this year and give the fans something to watch.
“They said even if we go back in two weeks time and we don’t feel comfortable there’s a way out of it, it’s not like once we’re in we’re stuck. There’s been no pressure and from the word go if you’re not happy or feel uneasy about something come forward. You won’t be judged on that basis.”