Coronavirus: Rob Key says people would accept busy winter of cricket

Rob Key says he would “snap your hand off” for a busy winter of cricket for England with coronavirus decimating the 2020 calendar.

England’s two-Test series in Sri Lanka this month has been postponed due to the outbreak and could potentially be rescheduled for January 2021.

That could mean the side face a heavy workload of seven Tests in a short space of time, with five matches in India also arranged for early next year.

“Wouldn’t you just take anything at the moment?” Key said on Sky Sports News. “If it meant that you had a lot of cricket in the winter, I think you’d snap people’s hand off to see it.”

Key believes the series in Sri Lanka should be played as it forms part of the inaugural World Test Championship, the final of which is due to be played in England in 2021.

“The point of the World Test Championship is to give games context,” he said. “It’s not like in the past where if you didn’t have a Test series there is no bigger picture.”

The former Kent captain believes it will be some time before the 2020 county season gets under way – there will definitely be no play before May 28 – and is one of many people to suggest the campaign could be prolonged into the autumn.

“Like Boris Johnson goes to his scientists, you go to the smartest guy in the room and that is generally Michael Atherton,” added Key.

“He thinks that the best-case scenario is a three-month season featuring predominantly white-ball cricket.

“The longest format might not be played, because with counties not bringing in any revenue right now, they are going to try and bring in money which is T20 and the shortest formats.

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