England captain Joe Root will have a full squad to choose from after player concerns about coronavirus protocols dissipated; a group of 17 or 18 players likely to be selected, with a separate Lions team covering injuries and practicing opposition in Australia
England captain Joe Root to name his Ashes team on Sunday
England will name their Ashes team on Sunday, after this winter’s tour of Australia received conditional approval from the ECB Board.
Player concerns about coronavirus protocols have dissipated, meaning England captain Joe Root will have a full squad to choose from.
Root and Vice Captain Jos Buttler had previously discussed their hesitancy to agree to some of Australia’s strict Covid rules, but the ECB announced on Friday that the tour would continue subject to “the fulfillment of several critical conditions.”
The team is likely to consist of 17 or 18 players, with a separate group of the England Lions covering injuries and practicing opposition in Australia.
England are still without injured fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Olly Stone, while Ben Stokes is unlikely to show up as he continues an indefinite break from the game for mental health reasons.
The decision to go ahead with the tour, taken at an ECB meeting on Friday, followed positive talks between the England players and Cricket Australia (CA) earlier this week.
England cricketers raised concerns about conditions for the five-match series, which will begin in Brisbane on December 8, including quarantine arrangements for themselves and their families along with off-field restrictions.
The ECB said in a statement on Friday: “In recent weeks we have made excellent progress in advancing the Men’s Ashes Tour of England.
“To facilitate further progress and allow a team to be selected, the ECB Council met today and gave its approval for the tour to take place. This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met prior to travel. “.
“We look forward to Cricket Australia’s continued assistance in resolving these issues in the coming days.”
The five tests will be played in five states, each of which has its own Covid-19 regulations.
The second test will be one night in Adelaide (December 16-20) before the traditional Melbourne Boxing Day Test (December 26-30).
Sydney will host the fourth round (January 5-9), before a possible decider at Optus Stadium in Perth (January 14-18).
Australia retained the ashes when the teams last met in 2019 after a 2-2 draw in the series.
Former England Test captain Nasser Hussain said on Friday that the announcement suggests that the players were convinced that the conditions they wanted for themselves and their families would be possible.
Talking to Sky Sports NewsHussain said: “I heard that as long as those conditions are met, most of the players are very happy.
“They still have injuries with players like Jofra Archer and Olly Stone in the fast bowling department.
“Obviously the biggest one is Ben Stokes and Ben just had a finger operation. He’s been out of the game for a while because of his sanity and we’ll have to wait and see what happens to Ben Stokes later in the tour.
“I think [the ECB] It will give Ben Stokes all the time he needs to get back to playing cricket, either this winter or sometime after. “