Ian Botham
Ian Botham. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

Ian Botham is displeased with the England cricketers not fancying to tour Australia later in the year for the Ashes series. Some of the England Test cricketers have expressed apprehensions over travelling to Australia because of the hard quarantine in place; they have been concerned especially for their families.

The two boards have been in talks and a final decision is to be taken soon. The ECB, in its recent statement, had stated that the series will only go ahead if the regulations in place will “enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance”.

Ian Botham said playing Test cricket for England is the biggest aim for an English player and one should not let it go. He feels if some of the players “don’t fancy the ultimate test”.

Joe Root and Tim Paine in Ashes 2019
Joe Root and Tim Paine in Ashes 2019 (Image Credit: Getty)

“It’s the ultimate test and – I don’t know – I start to wonder maybe if some of these guys don’t fancy the ultimate test. You have to start to worry about it. Playing for England is the ultimate. To play Test cricket for England is the ultimate and to play against Australia in Australia, and win, is magnificent,” Ian Botham told the Daily Telegraph.

‘I just wish that we could actually put a positive spin on something and my positive spin is: ‘Let’s get out there, let’s see if we can beat the best in their own backyard.’ Because Australia don’t lose very often in their own backyard. I suggest it’s a challenge and if I was in their boots, I’d already have my bags packed.”

If you don’t want to go, I bet there are hundreds that would love to: Ian Botham

The legendary all-rounder pointed out that Australia toured England for white-ball matches last year during peak covid, so the ECB should send a team to return the favour.

“I believe the tour will go ahead. I believe the tour should go ahead. I think we need to remember that the Australians came over at the height of the pandemic and sat in a bubble to play in a series of one-dayers with us,” Ian Botham said.

England
England. (Image: Twitter)

Ian Botham further opined that if the players wanted time off the bio-bubble, they should have skipped the IPL. The 65-year-old asserted that the players should do their duty and turn up for their country whenever asked.

“To be quite frank, I don’t quite understand all this about, ‘Oh, I’ve got to be away for three months’. Well, you’re a professional sportsman. You do this for a living. I don’t see anyone saying, ‘I don’t want to go and be in a bubble when I go to the IPL’. Do you know what, if you don’t want to go, I bet there are hundreds that would love to. For goodness sake, if you have a contract, you honour it,” the former skipper added.

The first Ashes Test is slated for Brisbane from December 8. Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth are slotted to host the next four Tests, however, that is subject to change.