Things have not been the same since Tom Banton was diagnosed with Covid-19 during his stint in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in March. He managed to play just a couple of matches for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL this season, scoring just nine runs in total.
Banton returned to action in the County Championship match for Somerset against Middlesex in April, but has not been able to find his feet. He reckons it could be due to the after-effects of Covid-19. He has registered scores of 6, 37, 29, 18, 15, 8, 3 and 0 in County cricket this season s far.
“I’ve still probably got long Covid. My smell and taste aren’t too good still, which is a bit weird – and a bit worrying, actually. It might have had an impact on the runs – who knows? — but apart from that it’s been alright. I’ve felt probably [in] the best form I have done, but obviously, the red-ball sometimes has your name on it,” Banton told Espncricinfo.
Banton had an excellent T20I series against Pakistan at home, scoring 71, 20 and 46 in the three innings. However, things took a downward curve when he managed just 12 runs across three innings in the series against Australia.
The England batsman also pulled out of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21, citing bubble fatigue and also decided to skip the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to focus on red-ball cricket.
“There’s been a lot of quarantine over the last year, and that kind of just tipped me over the edge to say I can’t really go away and do hotels for a while now,” Banton said.
“I pulled out of a few things this winter, but I have to get the balance right. There’s so many things going on every month, either with England or tournaments around the world, and I have to be very clear with what I’m doing and stick to it,” he added.
Banton has played six ODIs and nine T20Is for England since making his international debut in 2019.