After some of the top England players had said that they may skip the Australia tour for the Ashes later this year isn’t a matter of concern for Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine, who has insisted that the series will go on whether England Test skipper Joe Root travels or not.
Along with Root some of the other England members had earlier cited Australia’s strict quarantine and travel protocols as the major reasons for their reluctance to tour Australia following which the respective boards of the two teams have induldged in dialogue.
“The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on December 8 – whether Joe is here or not,” Tim Paine was quoted as saying by SEN Radio.
“It’ll be worked out above us and then they’ll have a choice whether to get on that plane or not. No one is forcing any England player to come. That’s the beauty of the world we live in – you have a choice. If you don’t want to come, don’t come,” he added.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, Australia have put some strict rules under place for people arriving from abroad and there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine even if the person is fully vaccinated which means England team’s family members may not be allowed to travel with them.
Notably, not being with their families during the long tour has been a major deterrent for many England’s players.
“We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming. I think it’s been beat up. If you do want to come and represent your country and play in an Ashes series, which Joe Root said that’s what they all want to do, that’s what they dream about doing, then come and do it,” said Paine.
“They all want to come, there’s no doubt about that. They’re trying to get themselves the best possible conditions they can. But we all are. We don’t want to give them poor conditions because we’re going to be in the same boat. It’ll be worked out,” he added.
Recently, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen had said that the players are now done with the bubble life and he wouldn’t travel unless the ridiculous quarantine rules are crushed so that his family can travel without any restrictions.
Commenting on Pietersen, Paine said: “If you want to know anything about any subject in the world, just ask Kevin Pietersen. He’s an expert in everything. We haven’t heard a single English player say he won’t come. I think that has been beaten and people like Kevin like to make themselves known a bit in the media.”
On Thursday, England vice-captain Jos Buttler has said that he will not travel to Australia for the Ashes if families are not allowed and sought clarity about the Covid-19 protocols for the tour.
“Yes, definitely for myself. If I had to do a World Cup and an Ashes – four, five months without seeing my family – I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that,” Buttler was quoted as saying by Skysport.
“We’re still waiting for more information, as soon as possible. Hopefully, in the next few days there’ll be more information. As soon as you get that it makes it easier to know what decision you’re making,” he added.
Buttler, however, felt the two boards will find a solution to the issue.
“The ECB and Cricket Australia will be working very hard together to make it as good as possible. It’s tough to make a decision when you don’t have all the answers. In Covid times, there is always going to be some sort of question that is difficult to answer. It could be changeable, it would be naive not to say so in the times we’re living in, but you want to go there with as many assurances as possible,” he opined.