Warwickshire's players will report back to a 'highly professional and totally safe environment' when they return to training this week, says Sport Director Paul Farbrace.
The full Bears squad will return to training on Wednesday, joining England squad members Chris Woakes, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Sam Hain and Henry Brookes who have been training at Edgbaston over the past two weeks.
Strict safety and social-distancing guidelines must still be observed, but the environment has been skilfully tailored to adapt to those conditions by the expertise of Head of Stadium Operations Claire Daniel and Head Physio Gerhard Mostert.
“The players will be coming into a highly professional and totally safe environment,” said Farbrace.
“Claire and Mozzy have been absolutely brilliant in organising everything. It hasn’t just been a case of one or two meetings, it’s been a lot of hard work and planning and I can’t speak highly enough of Claire and Mozzy. This club is so lucky to have them.Paul Farbrace
“We’ve had our England players back for two weeks with all the necessary protocols in place, so we know they work perfectly. The full squad will be coming into a perfectly safe environment, in line with all the Government guidelines and ECB advice.
“The safety of everybody – players, coaches, staff – is paramount so a lot of thought has gone into how we do this, as is the case at every county, of course.
“All the players have to record their temperature on an app at the start and end of the day and, if there is any abnormality, or they don’t do it, they don’t come in.
“A good thing is that, if anyone does report Coronavirus symptoms, only they have to isolate – we won’t have to close the whole operation down.
“There will be certain differences to usual, like one-skin-one-ball with every player bowling with just one ball, but it will be very close to normal practice. It will just be fantastic to have the guys back in and practicing with a view to starting the season on August 1.
“We had a coaches meeting last Friday and it was the best for months. The previous ones have been all about ‘we can’t do this’ and ‘sorry lads’ and ‘we’ll just have to wait’, but this was about making plans for what we can do, and that was brilliant.”
Wednesday will see the return to Edgbaston of the whole squad except for Jeetan Patel, who is still at home in New Zealand, but the Bears are very keen to get ‘Jeets’ over for some cricket in the last season of his magnificent Bears career.
“Jeets is a fantastic Bear and we want him to play some cricket for us in his last season so that everyone can say a proper farewell,” said Farbrace.Paul Farbrace
“There are things to sort out and he probably won’t be here for the start of August but we definitely want him back with us to play some cricket this season.”