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England cricket board (ECB) will announce this week if the scheduled Ashes series in December later this year in Australia will go forward or not. The tour is doubtful due to restrictions in place in Australia as a result of the pandemic. Australia is the current holder of the Ashes after retaining the urn following a 2-2 draw in England in 2019. They won the last series “Down Under” in 2017/18 4-0.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said on Monday it was in “regular and positive dialogue” with Cricket Australia. Joe Root-led Englan side is due to play a five-match Test series starting in Brisbane on 8 December. The ECB said that the players are understood to harbor concerns over quarantine, bubble environments, and access for families.
“With health and wellbeing at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the tour can go ahead with conditions for players and management to perform at their best. Later this week the ECB will meet to decide whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance,” an ECB statement said.
“We remain in regular and positive dialogue with Cricket Australia over these arrangements as the picture is constantly evolving. With health and well-being at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the tour can go ahead with conditions for players and management to perform at their best. We will continue talking to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback,” said the ECB.
Tim Paine had said that the Ashes series will go ahead
Paine told ‘Sen Hobart’, “The Ashes will be held. The first Test will start on December 8. . They all want to come, no doubt about it. They have a choice whether they want to board the flight to come here or not. Nobody is forcing any England players to come here. The beauty of the world we live in is that you have a choice. If you don’t want to come, don’t come.”
Nasser Hussain slams Tim Paine for lack of ’empathy’ for England players
Former England captain and a current renowned commentator Nasser Hussain has criticized Australia’s lack of empathy for England’s players as doubts continue over this year’s Ashes series. Hussain said that England players have played many more Tests than Australia have since March 2020
“When Tim Paine, Australia’s Test captain, spoke recently I didn’t hear much empathy from a fellow professional. Now others have jumped on the Ashes bandwagon as if England are somehow trying to dodge an important series. England has played 18 Test matches since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. That’s five more than anyone else – and 14 more than Australia, whose four Tests all came at home against India last winter.” Hussain wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“I’m quite proud of the way in which England’s Test team have kept the show on the road in difficult circumstances, moving in and out of bubbles and spending time away from their families. It’s draining. Mental health has suffered. So for people in Australia to start lecturing them, and telling them they should simply suck it up, is a bit rich. Unless you’ve spent time in a bubble — and some of these guys have done it repeatedly — you don’t get to lecture other people on how they should behave. It’s a delicate balancing act for Root and Ashley Giles, the director of cricket,” said the former England skipper Nasser Hussain.
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