Cricket commentator Nasser Hussain said that Australian Test captain Tim Paine lacked empathy towards his counterparts while giving his view about the upcoming Ashes 2021/22 starting in December.
England cricket team’s decision to play the historic Test series later this year in December remains ambiguous as players remain uncertain over the quarantine rules in Australia.
Cricket Australia is coordinating with its government and its counterpart England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to ease the relaxations for England players.
A few days ago the Australian Test captain mentioned that the Ashes will anyhow go ahead even if the prominent England players like skipper Joe Root opt to play or not.
“The Ashes is going ahead. The first Test is on Dec. 8 — whether Joe is here or not,” Paine told radio station SEN Hobart.
“It’ll be worked out above us and then they’ll have a choice whether to get on that plane or not. No one is forcing any England player to come. That’s the beauty of the world we live in — you have a choice. If you don’t want to come, don’t come,” he added.
You don’t get to lecture other people on how they should behave: Nasser Hussain
Hussain responded to the Australian Test skipper’s comment and backed the English players for the amount of time they have spent in COVID-19 bio-bubbles.
“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,” Hussain wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“I get all the arguments. Yes, England’s Test players are paid handsomely. Yes, representing your country, particularly in an away Ashes, is the highest honour there is for a professional cricketer. Yes, some of the players have chosen to add to their own burden by taking part in overseas T20 tournaments such as the IPL.
“I understand all that. But 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,” he added.
Proud of the way in which England’s Test team have kept the show: Nasser Hussain
Australia last played a Test against India in the early part of January and that is the only Test series they have managed to play since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.
Hussain pointed out that England has played the most Tests (18) since the game resumed in the COVID-19 times and said he is proud of the players for the way they have managed themselves in these tough times.
“Right now, it feels as if England’s Test players are getting a lot of flak, particularly from Australia, about their attitude to quarantining at the Ashes. And that doesn’t sit comfortably with me,” Hussain mentioned.
“England have 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.
“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,” he added.
The first Ashes Test is scheduled to commence on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane.