Ashes 2021-22: Tim Paine's blunt statement was pathetic and lacked respect, says Matt Prior

Matt Prior feels Paine's stance regarding the Ashes was uncalled for.

Tim Paine Australia
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Tim Paine. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images)

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After a lot of deliberations and several discussions, the upcoming Ashes series is scheduled to get underway Down Under from December 8. The England Cricket Board (ECB) announced the 17-member squad for the five-match series sans some notable omissions such as Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Sam Curran. Before the squad announcement, there was uncertainty over whether the England team will come Down Under due to the Australian government’s stringent COVID-19 protocols and norms.

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen had also called the Ashes to be called off amidst the Australian government’s quarantine norms.  Tim Paine, who is the Test skipper for Australia didn’t like the reluctance of the England team and said, “If you don’t want to come, don’t come.”

Few of the senior England players had been initially concerned about their stance of living without the families for close to three months. While a lot of former experts and critics sympathized with England players, Paine didn’t show sympathy. Former England wicketkeeper batter Matt Prior didn’t like how Tim Paine was blunt with his stance and said he does not understand the players’ reservations.

“How many games have England played during Covid?” the former England wicket-keeper told I. “It’s 18, home and away. Australia have played four, at home (against India). So he’s not really in a position to speak, is he, because he’s not done it.

Prior further opined that there has to be a level of respect. He also compared the entire situation to the instance when the West Indies team had first visited England after the first wave of the pandemic in 2020.

There has to be some level of respect: Matt Prior

“It’s the Ashes and this stuff goes on, and it all starts months before the first ball is bowled. We all know that, we all get it. But there has to be a level of respect. When the West Indies got on a plane and came over here, there was a huge level of respect for what they were going through to make the series happen.

Prior concluded by saying that considering the current situation in cricket about bio-bubble norms such a statement from Paine was unnecessary and pathetic.

“To almost come across as threatening, almost as if ‘they’re a bit weak’- it’s all a bit  pathetic, quite frankly.”