Amidst the uncertainty surrounding the participation of England players in the upcoming Ashes, Jos Buttler has hinted he may skip the marquee series owing to the COVID-19 restrictions in Australia which prohibits the players’ families to accompany them on the tour.
England will play the T20 World Cup in UAE before heading to Australia for the Ashes. If the families are not allowed on the tour, the players will have to be away from their loved ones for about four months, which Buttler and several other England cricketers are hesitant to do.
Australia have strict COVID-19 policies with 14-day mandatory quarantine for anyone travelling to the country. Buttler said living in bio-bubbles takes a toll on players thus whether he travels to Australia or not will depend on the COVID-19 protocols in Australia during the time of the series.
“COVID is incredibly challenging for everyone and Australia has a very strict policy in how they’ve tried to deal with it,” Buttler said, adding that living for long periods in bio-bubbles was a further complication.
“Until we get more information about what it (the Australia tour) might look like, it’s impossible to know what decision you’re making.”
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia could be pushed to bankruptcy if the series does not go ahead thus they are keenly trying to get the exemptions for the England players and their families. The board is ready to assure England players they will be free of bio-bubble and will be allowed to bring their families to Australia. However, nothing is official yet.
Buttler has also opted out of the second leg of IPL and may miss the ongoing series against India as well due to his wife expecting their second child.
“One of the challenges is working out where the line is where you say I can’t do that,” Buttler told The Times newspaper. “I’ve sacrificed a lot for cricket and my wife and family have sacrificed a lot.
“You have to be open to” saying no, he said. “It would be incredibly disappointing if some players feel like they can’t do it, but we’re in a world at the moment where that is a possibility.”