Australia Test captain Tim Paine hit out at England cricket commentator Kevin Pietersen for trying to influence England team players into not touring Australia for the Ashes.
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.
No one is forcing any England player to come: Tim Paine
Although Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison clearly mentioned that there won’t be any special kind of treatment for England cricketers participating in the Ashes.
Paine, whose own participation in the Ashes remains unsure, said the Ashes will go ahead despite England’s top players like Joe Root decide to pull out of the tour.
“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.
Kevin Pietersen is an expert on everything: Tim Paine
Pietersen took to his Twitter account to deny the possibility of him touring to Australia for his commentary duties because of the COVID-19 restrictions in the country.
“There is NO WAY I would go to The Ashes this winter. ZERO chance! Unless, the ridiculous quarantine rules were squashed and my family could travel with zero restrictions,” Pietersen tweeted.
Taking a dig at the former England player, Paine said if England players want to decide to tour they should consult Pietersen, calling him an expert on everything.
“If you want to know anything on any topic in the world, you just ask Kevin Pietersen. He is an expert on everything,” added the captain dryly.
“We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming. I think it‘s been beat up and people like Kevin like to get themselves a little bit of exposure in the media.”
The first Ashes Test is scheduled to commence on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane.