Amidst the uncertainty surrounding England’s participation in the Ashes, former England captain Andrew Strauss has urged the England players to board the flight to Australia if selected in the England squad for the series. Reports of senior England players mulling over skipping the series has been doing rounds owing to the stern COVID-19 restrictions in Australia.
Notably, the Australian government has refused to give England players special relaxations from the COVID protocols. Strauss feels that Ashes is a significant event for England Cricket thus players should play the series even if they have to make little compromises.
“To me, the Ashes need to go ahead. We are learning to live with Covid in this country and Australia is in a slightly different place. But the Ashes means a lot to a lot of people, and some of them are people that are going through a tough time themselves. There is a way of making it happen and I think we are moving in the right direction. I think there will be accommodations made and that families will get out there,” said Andrew Strauss.
Strauss was hopeful that CA, England Cricket Board (ECB) and the Australian government will find a way to make things happen. He was optimistic that the families of the players will be allowed on the tour. “Personally, I think if you are selected on an Ashes tour, you should go. An Ashes tour is not the one to pull out of, in my opinion. But I understand that everyone sees things slightly differently. But I think that between Cricket Australia, the Australian government and the ECB, they will find a way that works for both the players and their families.”
Earlier, Australia skipper Tim Paine had made a statement that Ashes will go ahead even if some senior England players are not part of the series. England will have a daunting task to beat Australia if Root and other players pull out. They are already without the services of Ben Stokes, who is on a break from cricket, Jofra Archer, who is struggling with an injury and Moeen Ali, who has announced his retirement from Test cricket.