Monday, November 29, 2021

Start the campaign: England cricketers arrive for the Ashes

Brisbane, Australia (NWN) – Let the hype, exaggeration and general madness begin. It is almost time for the Ashes, the most anticipated series in world cricket.

The first group of England cricketers arrived at Brisbane airport on Saturday morning at a luxury Gold Coast resort to begin a 14-day quarantine and nearly a month before the first Ashes Test against Australia.

Players and staff will have to self-isolate in their rooms for three days of strict quarantine, but are then exempted from training at a nearby stadium. One can also make use of the facilities available at the resort which include two championship golf courses and tennis courts.

Australian players will also be quarantined at the same resort after returning from the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Other England players in his T20 squad including Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler will also arrive after the end of the T20 tournament.

England captain Joe Root said before leaving England, “I think it has been worked out amicably and everyone has dealt with it in the best possible way in the evolving situation.” “And we’re so grateful to have the opportunity to be there in the conditions we’ve got.”

Root, all-rounder Ben Stokes, batsman Rory Burns and spin bowlers Jack Leach and Dom Bess were among those in Down Under for 10 weeks on Saturday. Stokes was included in the England squad last month after recovering from a finger injury and taking time off to prioritize his mental health.

At the same time, England players will have the longest period ever before the Ashes series, adapted to the heat and humidity of subtropical southeast Queensland and accustomed to longer daylight hours.

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Since Queensland does not have daylight hours, it becomes lighter around 4:30 am to 5 am, with chirping birds doing their best to wake up sleepers at least an hour earlier.

Australia recently closed its borders until vaccination rates against COVID-19 had risen to government-accepted levels, with about 80% now fully vaccinated. When the players of England came to Quarantine, they were not given any special attention.

England will have two squads in Australia, including an English Lions back-up team, which will play a three-day warm-up match against the English Test team at the Redlands in Brisbane and a four-day match at Ian’s from 23–25 November. Also at Healy Oval, Brisbane, from 30 November to 3 December.

The first Test will begin on December 8 at the Gabba in Brisbane and the second will be played in Adelaide from December 16-20. The third is the final Test in Melbourne from December 26-30, the fourth in Sydney from January 5-9 and the final in Perth from January 14-18.

The Perth trial is subject to further negotiations with Western Australia’s state authorities on current quarantine restrictions that could still be in effect in mid-January.

Australia have kept the Ashes, having defeated England in Australia in 2017-18 and then held them when the 2019 series in England was drawn.


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