England are due to tour Australia for the Ashes this winter, but the series remains in doubt with players concerned about the country’s strict coronavirus rules
The ECB have reportedly refused to consider postponing the Ashes this winter, despite concerns among players about Australia ‘s strict coronavirus protocol.
England are still awaiting full details on what protocol they will need to follow, with the ECB in ongoing talks with Cricket Australia.
According to ESPNcricinfo, the players recently had a meeting with ECB chief Tom Harrison about the series in which the idea of a full or partial postponement was suggested.
However, the ECB are said to have been ‘reluctant to consider such options’, leaving some players ‘disappointed’.
Players and support staff do have the option of pulling out of the tour altogether and Jos Buttler has previously stated that he is “open to saying no”.
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He told the Sunday Times: “One of the challenges is working out where the line is where you say I can’t do that. I’ve sacrificed a lot for cricket and my wife and family have sacrificed a lot.
“You have to be open to saying no. It would be incredibly disappointing if some players feel like they can’t do it, but we’re in a world at the moment where that is a possibility.”
James Anderson, meanwhile, has revealed that his family will not be able to join him in Australia over Christmas because of the country’s strict 14-day quarantine rule.
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In his column for the Daily Telegraph, Anderson wrote: “There are obvious doubts over the Ashes tour and a lot of uncertainty about families travelling and quarantine rules. My family have already said they are not going to Australia.
“My kids are in school, the youngest has exams and there is no way they can do two weeks quarantine because by the time they come out I will be playing a Test match and might only see them for a few days before they have to go back for the start of term.”
“I have got my head around that but I only play one format so it is easier for me. The India tour earlier this year was a couple of months and the Australia trip will be similar.
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“It is fine, I can manage that. The bigger issue is for guys playing every format. They need some clarity.”
Harrison has previously claimed that “a postponement is off the table”, with the ECB seemingly desperate for the series to go ahead as scheduled.
“We are due to play across large parts of Australia where the rules are different and they could change very quickly,” Harrison said.
“We are working with Cricket Australia and we have huge sympathy with the Australian government.
“No-one is being unreasonable here. I suspect a postponement is off the table. The Ashes is a massive deal.
“That’s probably not where we are going to end up. It is an iconic Test series that fans are going to want to see.”
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