Ashes 2021-22: ECB hints abandoning the tour if Australia's COVID-19 restrictions aren't relaxed

Ashes has been under threat owing to strict COVID-19 restrictions in Australia.

Ashes has been under threat owing to strict COVID-19 restrictions in Australia.
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England captain Joe Root (l) and Australia captain Tim Paine pictured with the Ashes trophy. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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The Ashes 2021-22 looks well and truly under threat now. This is the development after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealed that the board will have a final talk later this week to decide whether they will be going for the tour in the winter or not. Last week, there were reports that ECB was happy with the guidelines which were sent by Cricket Australia (CA).

However, that seems to have changed. There have been reports that up to 10 English players have shown their reservation with traveling to Australia. As a matter of fact, England captain Joe Root said last week that he can’t confirm his commitment to the tour until he is informed about the entire workings of the tournament. 

Tim Paine says the Ashes will go ahead ‘with or without’ Joe Root

The number of concerns regarding the quarantine facilities in Australia had been speculated to be reduced after the players were told that they would have to quarantine in a resort in the Queensland Gold Coast region upon arrival. However, according to the report on The I, the concessions made by Australians might not be enough to satisfy English players. 

ECB said on Monday, “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.” Apart from how England has dealt with this,  Australia has also taken things into their hands in the past few days. 

Australia captain Tim Paine recently made a statement saying that the Ashes 2021-22 will go ahead, with or without Joe Root. Earlier, he had also said that he would have gone for a year of quarantine to play for Australia in the Ashes. 

The report further stated that the ECB has said, “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.”