May 20, 2020 / 1:18 PM / 9 days ago

Cricket: Sri Lanka hoping to train from June 1, says coach Arthur

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s cricketers are hoping to return to training from June 1 in bio secure venues once the government gives the green light, head coach Mickey Arthur has said.

FILE PHOTO: Sri Lanka's cricket coach Mickey Arthur speaks during a news conference at the National Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo

Cricket has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Sri Lanka’s home series against England and South Africa have been postponed.

Sri Lanka has had some success in curtailing the spread of the new coronavirus, having reported just over 1,000 cases, and the government is prepared to ease lockdown restrictions.

“Last Wednesday we had a quick meeting because we are starting to get our plans in place for June 1,” Arthur told ESPNcricinfo.

“Once we get the official go-ahead from the ministry of health I will start putting meat into that structure with the captains and my support staff.”

Training will initially be limited to fast bowlers but Arthur hopes he can coach the full squad from June 20.

“It is looking good with the health ministry, but it will be a smaller group. We’ll probably prioritise our fast bowlers because they are the ones who are going to need more time to get back into it,” Arthur, who took the job in December, said.

“Once we get some assurances from the medical staff around the world that biosecure (environment) is fine and what the virus could do to you potentially if you got it.”

“And then hopefully after the first 20 days of June we could virtually have our whole squad back training.”

England players returned to individual skill-based training this week.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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