Durham’s Chris Rushworth is using his absence from the cricket pitch as an opportunity to give back by running a half-marathon in the aid of a cancer charity – even if he has to run it in his back garden.

Rushworth has pledged to run the 13 miles on May 1 for The Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust, who are providing food and care for families dealing with cancer in the North East amid the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.

The 33-year-old teamed up with the charity last season during his testimonial year, and is now looking to use the time provided by the lockdown to boost awareness and fundraising efforts that have been hampered by the crisis engulfing the country.

Rushworth has been using his hour of daily exercise to prepare for the run, but has acknowledged that he might be forced to put in the miles in back garden should the government place further restrictions on outdoor activities.

“It’s always nice to raise money, but to raise awareness of the impact that coronavirus will have on the NHS and their patients in the long term is important,” he said.

“A lot of people will not be aware of the knock-on effect that this will have in other aspects of healthcare. If we can raise awareness and a little bit of money along the way it goes one step to help people that really need it.

“Hopefully at the moment it will be around the streets and parks where I live. If restrictions are in place then I’ll have to do it in my back garden!

“Someone did the maths and said it was 952 laps of the garden, so that will be interesting. It’s for a worthy cause and there are a lot of people in a worse position than I am running around the back garden.

“I’ve run the Great North Run before and I’ve done a couple of 10km races. I haven’t done anything running wise for the past few years and we’ve only been getting ready for cricket for the start of the season.

“So getting ready for a half-marathon in four weeks will be a bit different. I might feel a bit tired, sore and aching during the run, but there are a lot of people worse off than me. I don’t mind putting myself through it if it means helping other people.”

Rushworth has also taken advantage of the lockdown to spend time with his family that would not have been the case at the start of the cricket season.

The seamer has broadened his horizons by starting a Youtube channel, featuring cricket coaching tips and exercises with his two children, offering helpful advice for families who are struggling to fill the time created by the shutdown of schools and businesses.

“I’m coping with the isolation quite well,” he said.

“I’ve got a young family. My kids are not at school and my wife is working from home. We’re enjoying this extra time together as a family because normally this time of year I’m really busy preparing for the season.

“We’re now all stuck at home together, but we’re enjoying quality family time. We’re still getting enough exercise and getting out for daily runs and walks. All things considered we’re doing okay.

“We started the Youtube channel after playing in the garden with my little boy. As a family we’re pretty active so being locked in at home we thought it might be a challenge to keep up that routine with the kids. So it was a conscious effort as a family to make sure we’re in the garden and making the most of the weather, playing games and exercising.

“There’s people in the same situation, but if they’re not sporty people then they may not have ideas on how to keep their kids active and what kinds of things to do. I thought if we should open it up to everyone and not just people who play cricket to keep them active and mentally fresh.

“As much as you try and fight technology it’s a nigh-on impossible task. My kids love Youtube, so to set up a Youtube channel and for them to be part of it is exciting for them and hopefully keep people interested from elsewhere.”

To find out more about Rushworth’s fundraising efforts for The Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust. Visit his JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/christopher-rushworth-1