ECB grants conditional approval for Ashes tour

Ending speculations regarding the uncertainty of the upcoming Ashes series, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Saturday gave ‘conditional’ approval to the five-match series.

Recently, several England cricketers had expressed their disappointment over the stringent quarantine rules in Australia and also over the uncertainty whether they would be allowed with thier families or not during the 11-week-long tour.

Issuing a statement on Saturday, the ECB said: “Over recent weeks we have made excellent progress in moving forward on the England Men’s Ashes Tour. To facilitate further progress and allow a squad to be selected, the ECB Board has met today (October 9) and given its approval for the tour to go ahead. This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel.”

“We look forward to the ongoing assistance from Cricket Australia in resolving these matters in the coming days,” it added.

The series is scheduled to start from December 8 and will end on January 18.

Recently, England captain Joe Root had said he was desperate to be part of the tour however, did not confirmed his participation.

Last month, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on behalf of his country’s cricketers, had pleaded with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison in Washington DC last month for the families to be allowed to travel to Australia.

Earlier, several England cricketers had expressed their displeasure over the tough quarantine rules in Australia.

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.

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.

Also, 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.

England vice-captain Jos Buttler had 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 first Test will be held in Brisbane and begin on December 8.

News Desk

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