ENG v AUS 2020: “It has been mentally challenging”, Jofra Archer on living inside bio-secure bubble

In wake of the COVID-9 pandemic, cricket is being played inside a bio-secure environment with everybody associated with the series and tournament undergoing several checks for the virus.

Players and support staff are only shuffling between their team hotels and the cricket stadiums for outdoor practice sessions and matches. Nobody is allowed to break the bio-bubble and travel around due to the Coronavirus threat.

No wonder, it has started to take a call on some cricketers, with England pacer Jofra Archer becoming the latest to speak on the difficulties of staying inside a bio-secure bubble.

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Archer, who has spent a total of 87 days inside England’s bio-bubble, also feels that it has impacted his performances.

After the ODI series against Australia, the fast bowler will join the Rajasthan Royals squad for IPL 2020 in UAE, where he will also have to live in a bio-secure bubble.

“I’ll tell you, it has been mentally challenging. We’ve been in here for 16 weeks or something like that. I think it is going to be rarer going home or being normal again. Here has become the new norm. We’ll just have to adjust again when we get some time off. The time I spend bowling with the white ball is a lot less than in Test cricket. You can’t run in the whole day. It is actually impossible to run in the whole day bowling at 90mph. If you can show me someone who does it then fair play. I’ve not seen any bowler who bowls 90mph do it for a whole day,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Archer as saying.

“It might be different environments as well. A change of scenery or a change of personnel. You do sometimes feel like you hit a wall. Sometimes you just need to relax or just need to switch your mind off for a few days. I honestly don’t know what it is but if you’re in a good frame of mind I feel you’ll probably bowl a bit faster,” he added.

After the conclusion of IPL 2020, England players will have to spend more time inside bio-secure bubble as they are planning to visit South Africa for a white-ball series in November. Subsequently, the Big Bash League (BBL) is due to take place, where Archer has a contract with Hobart Hurricanes.

However, the pacer is considering taking a break from the BBL as he is looking to spend more time with his family.

“I’ll be honest with you. I’m not sure how many more bubbles I’ve got left in me for the rest of the year. I haven’t seen my family really since February and it’s September now. The IPL is going to take up most of October. In November we go to South Africa; well, hopefully, we go to South Africa. That only leaves me with a few weeks in December for the rest of the year,” Jofra Archer said.

“I love my Hobart [BBL] family but I think I need to spend some time with my real family as well. When the year turns, we’re going to be back in a bubble in the UAE and India or somewhere. Family time is really important especially when you’re in the bubble and you can’t see them physically. So any time I get I try to spend with them,” he added.

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