As many as 10 England players are reported to have mulled over pulling out of the Ashes in Australia later in the year. The players fear that their families may not be permitted to travel due to the Australian government’s stringent Covid-19 restrictions.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the England squad had a meeting at Headingley this week, where “there was mounting frustration about a lack of progress by Cricket Australia over quarantine rules”.
England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held. Some of those will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour.
Cricket Australia releases statement:
“Cricket Australia continues to work closely with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and government authorities in Australia regarding the upcoming Ashes series, which will be the centrepiece for one of the biggest summers of cricket on record,” a CA statement read.
“We are currently planning the operational requirements of this tour and working with the ECB on the proposed make-up of the England touring party.
“As was the case last season, CA will work constructively and in partnership with government to deliver the summer of cricket, while ensuring the health, wellbeing and safety of the community.”
It is believed that the CA doesn’t have enough influence over the government there about the covid restriction. Even individual states can impose a ban or shut the city entirely on quick notice.
The Australian players had to undergo a 14-day quarantine period after they had returned from their trip to the West Indies and Bangladesh.