The Ashes will go ahead this winter as planned following positive conversations between the England players and Cricket Australia; Concerns about quarantine arrangements for families have been eased; The ECB is ready to officially confirm if the tour will continue this week
Captains Joe Root and Tim Paine are ready to reunite this winter
The Ashes are expected to move forward after concerns about quarantine restrictions for families eased during positive conversations between England and Cricket Australia players.
The tour, which took place in December and January, was in doubt as several England players had issues over how strict the restrictions would be when they and their families arrived in Australia.
England and Cricket Australia have held a series of talks in recent weeks, which will continue ahead of the Cricket Council of England and Wales (ECB) meeting on Friday.
The ECB said on Monday it would decide this week whether England will tour Australia.
Local reports suggest that players’ families and England staff traveling during the Christmas period will be able to self-quarantine at the Yarra Valley complex in Melbourne.
It is believed that they will not be confined to their rooms and that by mid-November the quarantine period for arrivals to Australia could be reduced from 14 days to seven.
On Tuesday, Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt said his government had been “flexible and practical” to ensure the Ashes could move on, but added that the fate of the series is in England’s hands.
Hunt said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Sports Minister Richard Colbeck had been working with their British counterparts to deliver the series, which begins Dec. 8 in Brisbane.
“Ultimately, it’s always in the hands of the commuters, but we’ve been working to be flexible and practical,” Hunt said. Sky News Australia on Tuesday.
“On the one hand, making sure we have security measures in place for Australia. On the other hand, being practical and flexible to give that tour group every opportunity to come here and have the Ashes play this summer.”
The five-test series pours around A $ 200 million (£ 106.8 million) into Cricket Australia’s coffers through streaming, sponsorship and ticket sales, local media reported.
Cricket Australia has been negotiating with the authorities and the ECB on travel conditions and whether the players’ families can visit during the Christmas and New Years period.
“We have had regular and positive discussions with the ECB over the past six months about providing conditions that allow players from both teams to perform at their best during the Ashes summer,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
“The health and well-being of both squads, while ensuring that the tour runs safely, is a priority and we especially thank our government partners for all their support in this regard.”
Australia has strict limits on international arrivals and charges people thousands of dollars to isolate themselves in designated quarantine hotels for a mandatory 14 days, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
Morrison said last week that authorities would lift travel restrictions and allow fully vaccinated people to self-quarantine at home for shorter periods starting next month, when the proportion of adults who have received two injections of the vaccine reaches 80 percent.
“We are driven by increased vaccination rates and an evolutionary approach to the pandemic in Australia,” added Cricket Australia.
In a statement Monday, the ECB said it had a “positive dialogue” with Cricket Australia, but said the Ashes would only move forward if they could select a team from England “commensurate with a series of this importance.”
“Over the weekend we have been talking to England’s players and management to bring them the latest information on the proposed arrangements for the Ashes tour scheduled for this winter,” said the ECB.
“We are in a positive and regular dialogue with Cricket Australia on these deals as the landscape is constantly evolving.
“With health and wellness at the forefront, our goal is to ensure that the tour can go ahead with the conditions for players and management to perform at their best.
“We will continue to speak with our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback.
“At the end of this week, the ECB board will meet to decide whether the existing conditions are sufficient for the tour to go ahead and allow the selection of a suitable team for a series of this importance.”