England will only travel to Australia for the Ashes series in December and January if its key players are in the squad.
That was the message from the England and Wales Cricket Board on Monday, with the governing body saying it would announce this week whether the tour would go ahead amid concerns about restrictions in Australia due to the pandemic.
An ECB statement said there have been “regular and positive discussions” with Cricket Australia regarding the arrangements for the Ashes series, one of cricket’s biggest opportunities.
However, England players are concerned about the conditions in which they will have to live after arriving in Australia, such as quarantine arrangements and whether family members can travel.
The ECB said the priority is to ensure that the tour takes place “with conditions for the players and management to perform at their best”.
“We will continue to speak to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback,” the ECB said.
Clearly, the governing body said the squad chosen needed to be “consistent with a range of importance”.
October 17-November in the United Arab Emirates and Oman with the World Twenty20 competition. The 14- and five-Test Ashes series, which starts from December 8 to mid-January, as well as both sides and before the Ashes, could see some players away from home for more than three months.
England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes is currently missing for England as he is taking a break from cricket to protect his mental health.
England captain Joe Root has not committed to attending the Ashes amid ongoing talks, and Australia captain Tim Paine last week said “the Ashes is progressing … who is here or not.”
The ECB’s statement shows that this is not the case and that England would be unwilling to take a weaker team to Australia.
England’s international schedule has changed repeatedly during the pandemic.
The team returned home early in 2020 from tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa, while the recent series against India in England was canceled on the morning of the fifth Test against India because of a COVID scare. The reason was decided not to play. Outbreak in your tour group.
England has also canceled tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan to be held this month ahead of the World T20.
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