Australia Test skipper Tim Paine feels that COVID-19 protocols are beyond anyone’s control and England players have no other option but to accept the quarantine restrictions during the Ashes. Currently, anyone entering Australia has to serve 14 days in quarantine.
While there were speculations that England cricketers might be given some exemptions, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison brushed them off by saying that cricketers won’t be treated specially. He also said that families of the players won’t be allowed to accompany them during the marquee series.
Many England players are mulling over skipping the tour and Scott Morrison’s statement would have given them more than one reason to say no to the Ashes. Speaking to SEN, Paine said England players should go through the same protocols they expect visitors in their country to undergo.
“They know that they’re going to have to do some quarantine, potentially, ScoMo and Boris are having conversations, the conversations are being had at the very top. It’s above Cricket Australia, it’s above the ECB, it’s certainly above the players. Those decisions will be made and you’re just going to have to deal with it. But, the England team will have to do nothing different than what they’re asking the Australian team to do.”
The 36-year-old further lashed out at Cricket Australia (CA) for not allowing Hobart to host a Test match. Paine, the local boy, said that he received a fair bit of flak when he suggested Hobart as one of the venues for the Ashes, revealing that Perth or Sydney are likely to host most games if there is a change in schedule.
“The easy way through this is to throw one of these matches down to Blundstone Arena, and then we’ll go to Perth. It wasn’t popular with the Sydney media, I must admit. I copped a little bit of flak. After it was raised, they didn’t like it. I tell you what will happen, they’ll bypass Tassie, like they always do. We’ll play two Tests in Sydney, or two Tests in Perth. That’s what they’ll do. It’s easier for the broadcasters to either have two games in Sydney or two games in Perth.”
Hobart is set to host the historic Test between Afghanistan and Australia in November but it’s is very unlikely that the match will go ahead. CA has maintained a firm stand that they will not entertain Afghanistan’s Men’s team until the women’s team is allowed to play the game in Afghanistan. Notably, Taliban has banned women’s cricket in Afghanistan.