Reports from the UK indicated that Joe Root has confirmed he will be captain of the side
The men’s Ashes is set to continue this summer, with England’s players reportedly agreeing to tour in a move that will green-light the A$200 million run.
England cricketers spoke again with Cricket Australia (CA) bosses on Tuesday evening to allay concerns about strict Covid-19 protocols. Players have until the end of this week to make a decision by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), with the team only touring if a sufficient number of frontliners agree to travel.
However, those fears have now seemingly allayed with those of the UK Daily Telegram reports that Captain Joe Root has led a group of players committed to the series.
According to the report, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler could be the only England player not to agree to a tour. He had previously expressed concerns about the tour and possible time away from family.
All-rounder Moeen Ali will not be available after his recent retirement, while Ben Stokes is taking a break from the competition and Jofra Archer is injured. CA has yet to be officially notified, but will no doubt breathe a huge sigh of relief given the magnitude of the decision.
In a series of two separate encounters with England players in recent days, fears of rapid lockdowns and quarantine conditions for families were understood to be the main concerns.
But CA CEO Nick Hockley stressed to England players that conditions in Australia were improving as vaccination rates increased in the country. Likewise, a move to allow a second group of English player families to arrive before Christmas to go into quarantine in Melbourne is believed to have also been crucial.
Players had feared that families wouldn’t be able to arrive with them until November, which meant a harsh quarantine for a long tour.
But the move to admit a second group of Victoria would be welcome news, as they don’t have to spend that much time away from home. There may be some liberties for families in regional Victoria.
That deal isn’t officially over the line with the state government, but would be in line with the COVID-19 roadmap as Victoria moves closer to double dosing rates of 70 and 80 percent.
CA’s last concern will now be the Perth Test, with officials adamant that they will be allowed to play in Western Australia just days after they arrive in Sydney. If that doesn’t go through, Canberra or Hobart could grab their first Ashes Test. Alternatively, the match can be held as a second match in the SCG or MCG.