Joe Root seems to be "very optimistic" over the chances of Test cricket taking place in England's 2020 home season despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Britain is currently in lockdown as the COVID-19 situation continues relentlessly, having claimed the lives of over 30,000 people. While the destruction caused by the disease cannot be understated, there has been a move towards relaxed lockdown rules elsewhere in Europe.
Fears surrounding a barren summer of cricket have thus subsided in light of the England and Wales Cricket Board's eagerness to host six Tests and as many ODIs and T20Is in a condensed schedule in bio-secure environments.
This implies a period of more than two months of quarantine for an enlarged England squad with the matches set to be played behind closed doors.
Root voiced his agreement for the proposition and welcomed the possibility of international cricket following a lengthy delay due to the virus.
"I'm very optimistic, hopefully, that can be the case and it would be a real shame if it wasn't," he told Sky Sports on Thursday.
"I think a number of people are desperate to see live sport back on telly (television) and the guys are all very much missing playing and would love to get back out there."
Root praised the cooperation of ECB medics, who have been key to all discussions regarding the resumption of competitive cricket.
"Safety is paramount and we need to make sure everyone involved is absolutely safe," he said.
"I'm sure the discussions will progress and we'll get more information and get closer and closer to cricket being back on and international cricket being played."
The England Test skipper also focused on the new dynamics of cricket amid empty stands and a lack of socialisation with anyone beyond one's own team.
"It would be the playing group and management, almost in your own little house, throughout and almost in isolation together, not interacting with the opposition, broadcasting crews, officials or media," he explained.
"It'd be a very different look to how a normal Test week would go and the environment we work in but I do think it'd probably be manageable and hopefully that's the case."
Root, whose wife is expecting a second child, commented on the challenges of safely getting out of the 'isolation bubble' if need be. He felt such unanswered questions would be a part of the ECB's agenda in the coming weeks.
"For me that'd be, would I be able to get to the birth, would I then be in isolation for two weeks, would I be able to be tested coming back into the bubble?
"Who knows exactly what that'll look like -- they're discussions to be had in the coming weeks.
"We'll have to clear up and make sure things are tightly secure so there's no chance of people getting ill or unwell."