The Ashes remain on the balance: ECB warns that tour rests on selection of squad “befitting a series of this significance”. The Governing Board will meet later this week to decide. Whether this winter’s Ashes can take place after seemingly admitting. That several of the team’s top players are still unwilling to submit to Australia’s strict Covid19 protocols.
In a statement released Monday morning, the ECB said it had spoken with English players and male management, some of whom will leave for the United Arab Emirates the same day before this month’s T20 World Cup.
The statement insisted that the board’s dialogue with Cricket Australia remained “regular and positive”. It also appeared to express public doubt about whether the conditions that have been put in place. Will “enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance”.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.
“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 Australian government outlined plans to ease entry and quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated citizens in November, but that provision is not expected to be extended to international travelers until a later date.
Paul Collingwood, the team’s assistant coach. Wrote on Instagram before the white-ball team left for the United Arab Emirates, summing up the dilemma faced by many players. Especially those with young families.
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