Tim Paine has been hammered by England fans who took offense at comments the Aussie Test captain made about this summer’s Ashes.
England cricket fans have criticized Tim Paine after the Australian Test captain’s blunt statement about the Ashes this week.
This summer’s series has been shrouded in uncertainty as some in the camp in England have expressed concerns about traveling Down Under for long stays and dealing with strict quarantine regulations – especially if their families are not allowed to join them.
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Former England star Kevin Pietersen echoed the views of some when he tweeted: “There is NO WAY I would go to The Ashes this winter. ZERO chance! Unless the ridiculous quarantine rules were lifted and my family could travel without restrictions.
But Paine dismissed any doubt about the series taking place.
“The Ashes continue. The first test is on December 8 – whether Joe (Root, England captain) is here or not. They all want to come, there’s no doubt about it,” Paine said on his SEN Hobart radio show on Friday.
“It’s being worked out above us and then they have a choice whether to get on that plane or not.
“No one is forcing an English player to come. That’s the beauty of the world we live in – you have a choice. If you don’t want to come, don’t come.
“If you want to come represent your country and play in an Ashes series that Joe Root said ‘that’s what they all want to do, that’s what they dream of,’ come and do it. Kevin (Pietersen), mate, let it be to the players. Let them speak.”
Pietersen and Paine later exchanged comments on Twitter.
But the Australian wicketkeeper’s comments have gone down like a lead balloon in England. Cricket writer Chris Stocks said The Guardian’s Barney Ronay “hit the nail on the head” with a piece condemning Paine’s view of the situation.
“There is certainly something eerie about the spectacle of the Australian captain playing out the world from his own closed borders,” Ronay wrote.
“The UK has suffered 130,000 Covid deaths. People have struggled terribly, staring this plague in the face for the past 18 months. The cricketers have played through all this. So please spare us the mess, Tim Paine.”
Former first-class cricketer Fabian Cowdrey tweeted: “Tim Paine doesn’t decide whether England travel for the Ashes…Unless he got a job at the ECB he can keep quiet. Aussie Captain or not, he has a pretty average demeanor.
Also what does he do with a doll on @KP24! KP loves England and their rights for this tour. ”
Sportswriter Oliver Brown cited Paine’s hypocrisy in referring to the fact that Australia has not played an away Test series since the 2019 Ashes.
“It’s great to hear the views on this delicate matter from Tim Paine, captain of an Australian team that hasn’t played a test series in over two years,” Brown tweeted.
Journalist Elizabeth Ammon wrote: “I see Tim Paine has mastered the art of empathy towards his fellow professional cricketers. Beer.”
Sports reporter Chetan Narula also weighed in. “Nice of Tim Paine to shut up again. Australia has not toured for a single test series since the start of this Covid pandemic. All LOI tours were run by their B teams,” he said.
“The last thing you want is a lack of empathy for your fellow cricketers right now. Bubble fatigue is a reality of our time.”
Cricket writer Dave Tickner suggested – with a wink – that Paine was “completely relying on being the huge p**k he is” rather than messing around “with all those sickening and hypocritical good-natured bulls***”.
Australia has gone on ODI and T20 tours overseas during the pandemic, but, most recently against the West Indies and Bangladesh, it traveled with seriously underpowered squads because the country’s biggest stars were either equipped or chose to sit outside.
Meanwhile, England have played Test series in Sri Lanka and India in 2021 before hosting New Zealand and India at home.
Joe Root’s side has already played 12 Tests this year ahead of the Ashes, which is a grueling five Tests challenge that kicks off in December.