The fate of the upcoming Ashes will be decided this week following the England Cricket Board’s (ECB) meeting to discuss the terms of the tour. Australia currently is going through a severe COVID-19 wave due to which the Australian government has imposed stringent curbs in the country. Many England players, including skipper Joe Root and vice-captain Jos Buttler, have expressed their concerns over playing the series in strict COVID-19 regulations.
Earlier, British PM Boris Johnson had asked his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison to allow the families of the players on the tour, however, the latter denied the same saying England players will not get special exemptions unless 80% of the Australian population gets vaccinated.
“Over the weekend we have been talking to England men’s players and management to provide them with the latest information about the proposed arrangements for this winter’s scheduled Ashes tour.
“We remain in regular and positive dialogue with Cricket Australia over these arrangements as the picture is constantly evolving. With health and wellbeing at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the tour can go ahead with conditions for players and management to perform at their best,” read a statement from ECB.
Cricket Australia (CA) had sent a proposal to ECB detailing the conditions of the series. The players were informed about the terms and the feedback of the same is pending. Once the players’ feedback is collected, ECB chairman Ian Watmore will take a call on whether to go ahead with the tour or request a delay.
“We will continue talking to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback.
“Later this week the ECB Board will meet to decide whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the Tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance.”
The cricket fraternity is divided on whether England should play the Ashes or not. Earlier, former England skipper Andrew Strauss had asked the England players to play the Ashes, even if they have to make little compromises, given the significance of the series. However, other England cricketers like Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen are not in favour of the same.