Cricket Australia optimistic of having full capacity crowds for Ashes

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Australia Test captain Tim Paine with Ashes Trophy (file image)
Australia Test captain Tim Paine with Ashes Trophy (file image)

Sydney [Australia], September 8 (ANI): Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley on Wednesday said that the board remains hopeful of having a full capacity crowd for the upcoming Ashes, beginning December 8.

Hockley also seemed confident that the series against England will go ahead as planned despite the current Covid-19 outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne causing lockdowns and interstate border closures.

"I think that's where we will work closely with the health authorities, with the venues, and certainly we obviously want full crowds. We want crowds back and enjoying the cricket and that's something we will work through over the coming months and as we have done throughout the last couple of months we'll take our lead from the health authorities. We remain extremely optimistic," Hockley told SEN Radio, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

The Cricket Australia chief also said that ECB and all England players will be given assurances of bringing their families along for such a lengthy tour.

"Our hope is that over the course of the coming weeks we'll be able to provide the assurance that the plans we'll have in place will provide them with the comfort that they'll have a great experience and for those that want to bring family members that they can," Hockley said.

"Ultimately it will be their decision as to who they'll bring but as we said we're working extremely constructively with the ECB. We've all got a huge amount of experience now in what this takes and the plans and the intricacy of the plans. We're very much working in partnership with the ECB and giving them full knowledge of what they can expect when they arrive in Australia," he added.

There have been reports that a number of England players could withdraw from the tour of Australia if they are not allowed to bring their families along. It is unlikely that there will be any loosening of the 14-day quarantine period by November. (ANI)

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