Michael Vaughan has stated that if the Australian government continues to impose restrictions and bar families from traveling at the time of the Ashes, then many top English players might pull out of the tour. As things stand, it's unclear as to whether the families will be allowed to travel.
Amid the recent COVID-19 outbreak in different parts of Australia, states have locked their borders, not just barring visitors from outside the country, but also restricting movement within the country. Since the pandemic broke out last year, Australia has imposted extremely rigourous restrictions, giving no exempt to any individuals. The country had, in fact, imposed a travel ban on India three months ago, and it resulted in its IPL contingent getting stuck outside the country for close to three weeks owing so strict protocols.
The England cricket team is scheduled to tour Australia in December this year to play the Ashes but if the restrictions continue, it might mean that the players would have to potentially travel without their family members. Cricketer turned commentator Michael Vaughan believes that, in such a scenario, many top-class England cricketers would bar themselves from playing in the Ashes.
“If Australia continue to lock the borders and make it very, very difficult there will come a stage where a sports team decides not to come,” Vaughan told the ABC.
“I’m not saying that will be the England cricket team but … as we speak, I would be amazed if England have a full-strength team for the Ashes," he added.
The Ashes will begin on December 8 with the first Test to be played at The Gabba in Brisbane. Australia are the current holders of the urn, with them having retained the Ashes in England two years ago.