Of all the sports it would take a pandemic for a large, mainstream audience to finally become invested in it, cricket is lower down that list than you might think.
Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but the way in which the 2019 World Cup had just about every English national on the edge of their seat as Ben Stokes secured the trophy in a super over is testament to how good it can be.
And with the England team having just beaten Sri Lanka in a two-test series, they can relax with some midweek Premier League action with football seemingly never ending in a heavily congested season.
Here’s who the top echelons of England’s cricketers support.
After their incredible World Cup triumph, Ben Stokes admitted that he was never much of a football fan growing up, but did have Tottenham shirt in his youth.
If one thing is for sure, it’s that Spurs would never be capable of pulling off anything reminiscent of Stokes’ innings in that super over.
Captain of the test side and back in form after 426 runs over two tests against Sri Lanka, Joe Root could only wish his football club were putting up numbers like him.
Born in the Steel City, Root is a Sheffield United fan. And while that was great last season, things aren’t so rosy with second-season syndrome hitting the Blades hard.
Wicket keeper and batsman Jonny Bairstow hasn’t shed much on who he actually supports, but was playing football with Danny Rose and Fabian Delph in the Leeds academy until he was 15.
With the way Marcelo Bielsa sets the Whites up these days, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be able to make use of Bairstow in some capacity. It makes sense all round, so we’ll tie the knot between the two officially.
England’s fast bowler Jofra Archer has made it clear on several occasions that he is a big Manchester United fan.
Archer cites using Wayne Rooney on FIFA in 2007 as the reason he ended up falling in love with United, which is unorthodox but of course understandable.
Seeing him bowl at David de Gea would be very interesting.
Captain of England’s one-day side, Morgan has supported the Red Devils since he was a child.
Being born in Dublin, the batsman has credited Roy Keane as an early inspiration in the sporting world. While the aggressive slide tackling hasn’t translated over to cricket, Keane’s on-pitch leadership runs parallel with that of Morgan’s.
He also hails George Best as the club’s greatest player.
Burnley born and raised, it’s no surprise to hear that Lancastrian James Anderson supports the Clarets.
Except it’s not that simple. The ‘Lancashire Lara’ has mentioned in previous interviews that he is an Arsenal fan, but would support Burnley whenever the two sides clash.
Surely watching Arsenal in recent seasons is hardly a nice break from collecting test wickets for fun.
Jos Buttler previously namedropped Alan Shearer as one of his favourite football players growing up in a 2015 interview with TalkSPORT, so we’re officially having him fly the flag of the Magpies as a result.
Just don’t let him actually watch them under Steve Bruce, or else he’ll stop supporting them faster than Archer can bowl – and that’s fast.
He missed the Sri Lanka tour following a positive test for COVID-19, but Moeen Ali has cemented his legacy long before.
Ali is a massive Liverpool fan and celebrated his 100th ODI cap with a message from Steven Gerrard, and has previously talked about the Reds’ rise back to the top of the football ladder.
He’s an all-rounder for England – it might be worth Jurgen Klopp giving him a call and seeing if he can fill in at centre-back.
Broad celebrated achieving 500 test wickets in cricket in 2020 against the West Indies, but his football club of choice couldn’t quite pick up a good enough league position to cap things off.
A fan of Nottingham Forest, Broad has seen the highs and the lows, but a seventh place finish in the 2019/20 season, agonisingly close to the play-off places, is a step in the right direction.
Woakes was a part of England’s famous World Cup winning squad in 2019, but perhaps would’ve been winning silverware with Aston Villa in a parallel universe.
The all-rounder played football at academy level as a winger and was on the books at Walsall until age 14, but remains a die hard Villa fan.
Who knows, perhaps the roles are reversed somewhere on another planet.
Injuries are limiting the impact Olly Stone has been able to have in the England squad and stopped him from providing competition to Archer, but he makes the list nonetheless.
Stone is an avid fan of Norwich and even fancies the away trip when he finds the time to get to games – oh, and when there isn’t a global pandemic that’s halted the idea of a crowd.
Another United fan among the England squad, Dom Sibley struggled with his performances throughout the Sri Lanka series, but put together a half century to wrap things up.
Sibley’s presence in the side is growing following his November 2019 debut and he can use a strong finish against Sri Lanka as a confidence builder.
When not launching a cricket ball or smashing them away with a bat, Sam Curran spends his time watching Chelsea.
The 22-year-old is a big fan of the Blues, and played his part in the 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka.
World Cup winner Mark Wood closes off the list with the lowest tier team of all his colleagues, supporting League One outfit AFC Wimbledon.
The 31-year-old bowler is from Newcastle, but ended up supporting Wimbledon as a child due to liking the colour blue.
It’s probably better than watching Bruce’s Newcastle, in fairness.