The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have asked its players to make their final call whether they would be available for the Ashes in Australia by the end of September, according to ESPNcricinfo. The players are waiting for the finalized details of the tour, including quarantine, which the Cricket Australia (CA) is expected to share in the coming days.
The England players need more clarity about the quarantine rules which they and their families have to go through on their tour. The England side which will take the field could be without some of the high-profile cricketers.
The hosts board have been in talks with the Australian government regarding the strict covid protocols under which England cricketers and their families would be needed to remain.
Hence, the England players have raised reluctance on travelling down under this year; some of them who will take part in the IPL and the T20 World Cup stare at the prospect of being away from their families for months.
The lockdowns in Melbourne and Sydney have also forced CA to move the first two weeks of the Women’s Big Bash League to Tasmania, with four of the eight teams based in Melbourne and Sydney.
James Anderson confirms his participation in the Ashes
Legendary pacer James Anderson has confirmed that he is going to tour Australia this time, which could be his last trip as a Test cricketer. The 39-year-old stated that his family won’t be joining him on the travel.
“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,” Anderson wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph.
“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. It is fine, I can manage that. The bigger issue is for guys playing every format. They need some clarity,” he added.
Ben Stokes is likely to pull out of the Ashes as well. The all-rounder withdrew from the home series against India to focus on his mental wellbeing while also recovering from an injured finger.
He then pulled out of the second half of the IPL and the following T20 World Cup. Now, according to The Telegraph, he is unlikely to return in the Ashes, which will start on December 8 in Brisbane.