England all-rounder Curran open to behind-closed doors cricket

Sam Curran thinks playing without fans would be "very different" but would be open to the idea as cricket plots its post-coronavirus plans.

Sam Curran: "Any sportsman would love to just be playing sport, whether that's with fans or not"   -  Getty Images

England's Sam Curran would gladly play international matches behind closed doors if it can help to relaunch cricket globally in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like most major sports across the world, elite cricket is on lockdown, with the likes of Curran and his twin brother Tom sidelined last weekend when the English domestic season was due to commence.

READ | Sam Curran 'can't wait' to play under Dhoni amid virus threat

Eoin Morgan, England's World Cup-winning captain recently suggested games without spectators once restrictions start to be lifted could lift morale as televised events and all-rounder Curran certainly sees the appeal.

"There's a lot of talk about sporting events taking place behind closed doors and I'm sure now any sportsman would love to just be playing sport, whether that's with fans or not," he said.

"I would love to be playing. Hopefully you can still get the TV rights so people can watch from home and things like that.

"I wouldn't mind playing behind closed doors because it's a game that we love but it would be very different with no fans.

"We haven't had much communication [with the governing bodies]. It's taken day by day and I think behind closed doors is something they will be looking into."

One mooted solution for any revised cricket schedule is England's Test and limited overs teams playing matches on the same day.

READ | Border against hosting T20 World Cup in empty stadiums

This arrangement would theoretically work just fine for the Currans, given Sam has established himself as a Test fixture, while right-arm seamer Tom was a member of Morgan's triumphant squad last year.

Tom Curran retains ambitions in the longer format, having made a pair of Test appearances during England's 2017-18 Ashes Tour, but his status as a T20 gun-for-hire means his opportunities have been limited in terms of pressing a case to join his brother in Joe Root's squad.

"I've only played a couple of Test matches and definitely have huge Test ambitions still," he said, having made 38 international limited-overs appearances.

"It's just a tough one, playing so much white ball in the past couple of years. I've not actually played a lot of red ball cricket at Surrey. To get back in the Test side without playing domestic red-ball championship cricket is hard.

"Last year we had the build up to the World Cup and the focus was on white-ball cricket, and rightly so. Now it's just about balancing it, developing my skills and awaiting my chance."

Likewise, Sam's 17 Test caps are weighted against four and five in ODIs and T20 respectively.

"As Tom said, it's obviously a dream," he said regarding the prospect of becoming the first brothers to play a Test alongside one another for England since fellow Surrey alumni Adam and Ben Hollioake.

READ | If IPL doesn’t happen, it will be difficult for Dhoni to make comeback: Gambhir

"At the moment I'm playing the Tests and he's playing one days, but the dream is to play all three formats together.

"We've played a couple of one-dayers together but hopefully in the years to come we are regulars in all three formats. Playing with your brother is an extra special feeling."

  Dugout videos