England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler

Players free to opt-out after cricket returns, says Jos Buttler

ANI | Updated: May 14, 2020 12:50 IST

London [UK], May 14 (ANI): As the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have started working on plans to resume cricket after the coronavirus pandemic suspended the game, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler said players will be given an option to opt-out from any tour or match if they feel uncomfortable as safety is paramount.
Buttler lauded board's officials for keeping transparency with players and respecting individual decisions, irrespective of circumstances.
"I think that's been made clear from Ash and Gurj and Nick Pierce, who have all been great at communicating with us, that the safety of the players is going to be paramount to any cricket being played and if you don't feel comfortable then that is your own decision," ESPNcricinfo quoted Buttler as saying.
"I think it'd be very fair to say that if someone had reservations about playing, or didn't feel comfortable for certain reasons, be that affecting their family or however that looks, I think in these times that wouldn't be held against you," he added.

West Indies are expected to be England's first opponents, with a planned three-Test series being pushed back into July, and it has been reported that their players would be given the option of declining a spot on the tour.
"I'm sure they've been having discussions. Individually, it'll look different for each and every player and I'm sure all those voices will be heard. I think it would be completely natural to have some apprehension and anxiety about it and lots of questions to ask," Buttler said.
In 2016-17, Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales both declined to tour Bangladesh due to security concerns and Buttler captained the team in Morgan's absence.
"In similar situations, like going to Bangladesh, you talk it over with your family a lot, you talk as players and I think you just have to come to a decision that's right for you. I'm sure no player would be under pressure to do something they didn't want to do," Buttler said.
"I know that's been made clear to England players - if you feel uncomfortable about anything you can speak to the doctors, speak to Ash, and you're not being forced into anything you don't want to do. So, ultimately, it'll come down to you as a player and of course they'll be having those discussions about what it looks like to them as a side," he added. (ANI)