Which sports stars would you want to be in lockdown with?

In current circumstances, we don’t get to choose who we are in lockdown with, but what if we did?

We asked four of our writers to pick three sportspeople they would choose to self-isolate with, and this is who they came up with:

Pete Trifunovic

My first choice is an easy one – Andy Murray.

77 years was the time it took for another British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. It was 79 years since Great Britain had won the Davis Cup too, no problem for Andy in 2015 – winning the deciding tie with an inch-perfect lob on the clay in Belgium. Then there’s the back-to-back Olympic golds and his time as world number one. Not many Brits can claim they’ve changed the landscape of a sport in their own country like he has. I also admire his passion and determination to win and not to mention his dry sense of humour too.

Alongside Murray, in lockdown with us, would be a fellow tennis star Nick Kyrgios.

Not so much known for his titles but more for his entertainment value. Kyrgios is one-of-a-kind, big shots and an even bigger personality. He gets on well with Andy too so that’s a bonus and he’s also a big fan of video games, so he’d keep us entertained. It comes as no surprise whatsoever to hear that Nick once said: “I don’t really like tennis – I’d rather play basketball” so perhaps he’d be able to teach me how to play that instead whilst Andy covers the tennis.

My final pick was a tough one, but I went for Andrea Pirlo.

I couldn’t not pick a footballer given my obsession with the sport but I struggled to find the right person. Step up, Pirlo. He famously said: “I don’t feel pressure …I spent the afternoon of Sunday, 9 July, 2006 in Berlin sleeping and playing the PlayStation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup”. He’s won it all and oozes style and class, just to be in the same room as this man would be something else.

Alex Mills

Firstly, I would isolate with Serena Williams because she is such an influential woman and a strong figure for young females. She has shown the public her candour and kindness throughout her career. Despite not coming back to her top game after having children, she has shown women everywhere that having a family should not stop you from continuing your dreams. And that you cannot let anything get in the way of achieving your goals. I would like to be isolated with her because I feel like she would be the best person to give you a pep talk when you are in need of motivation to be productive.

I would also isolate with Anthony Joshua. I feel he is someone who makes decisions with his head and heart combined. He could teach me to make the right choice with important decisions in an easier way. Joshua was offered £50,000 to turn professional after only 3 years of boxing but turned it down because he loved the sport and didn’t want to do it for the money. Choices like this are not easy and I think during isolation, Joshua could teach me to be focused in decision making.

Picture credit: Wikimedia

Lastly, I would isolate with John Terry for various reasons. Firstly, he is currently assistant head coach at Aston Villa and secondly because of the experience he has in the football industry. Terry could teach me all the ins and outs of Aston Villa and give me the insider information that as a Villa fan I would love. He could also show me the importance of running a team professionally and the way to go about this. He had experience of this when he was the captain of a successful Chelsea side. In isolation, I think that Terry could teach me everything I’ve ever wanted to learn about football.

Alex Brinton

My first pick is the Australian cricketer Shane Warne. Warnie as he’s known by all those involved in the game, is arguably the greatest bowler ever to play the game. Warne was known for having one of the best cricket brains, and being able to talk to him about my favourite sport would be an eye-opening experience. He tells great stories from his time playing for Australia, in one of the greatest teams ever, these would certainly keep me entertained. In retirement Warne has turned his attention to playing professional poker so hopefully he would be able to teach me the how to play the game.

Picture credit: Wikimedia

I would also like to isolate with Eddie Hearn. The boss of Matchroom boxing has shot to fame over the past year thanks to the No Context Hearn Twitter account. But if you look behind that you will find a man who has worked incredibly hard to get where he is. Hearn has an amazing business mind and is an incredibly passionate boxing fan. As a follower of boxing I would find it fascinating to pick his brain about how a sport I have come to love really works behind the scenes.

Finally, I would love to isolate with Ben Stokes. He was named as Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world earlier this week, after a stunning 2019. Stokes has had a rollercoaster of an England career from scoring a brilliant hundred against Australia in only his second Test match in 2013, to being suspended after a Bristol street-brawl in 2017. Stokes had an unbelievable 2019; expertly guiding England home in the World Cup final, before playing one of the greatest innings of all time to beat Australia in the third Ashes Test match at Headingley. As a massive cricket fan, the chance to speak to him about his career would be unbelievable.

Matt Lee

If you are going to be stuck in isolation with anyone; it is vital that they have plenty to talk about to help avoid being bored. Having listened to Peter Crouch’s popular podcast on the BBC, he never seems to be without an entertaining story about his time on the pitch. Whether it be the unveiling of the team-mate nicknamed as ‘Parched’ or humoured stories about his experiences with Premier League players on nights out; he would keep you amused. As a former top-flight player, who has featured for England, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, his insight into life as a Premier League player is incredible.

While unbeknown to many, former England table-tennis number one, Matthew Syed is a more indepth and analytical character. Since putting his paddle down for the final time shortly after the turn of the millenium, Syed’s career has transitioned from sportsperson to sports journalist. His motivational book ‘You Are Awesome’ inspired me as a youngster and his psychological writing of ‘Black Box Thinking’ is placed high upon my reading list; so he would provide an excellent look behind the intellectual side of sport. The 49-year-old writes regularly for The Times so would have plenty of stories having met a number of interesting individuals.

Sir Alastair Cook, need I say anymore. The highly-decorated right-hander struggled towards the end of his career but is often referred to as one of the most successful England batsmen. Formerly captain of the Test and ODI teams, Cook holds a number of records on the English and international level. His international career, spanning 13 years, would mean he would be a glass overfull with stories of his travels with the England squad. The highlight of which was the Ashes victory over Australia in 2010/11 where he scored 766 runs at an average of 127.66.

Those are our isolation buddies, but who are yours? Let us know in the comments.

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