Ashley Giles, the managing director of England men's cricket team, is hopeful that the new COVID-19 Omicron variant doesn't affect the upcoming Ashes series, beginning December 8 in Brisbane. Various Australian states have already introduced travel restrictions after the emergence of the variant.
The five-match Ashes series between Australia and England is set to start from December 8 in Brisbane. The series will also be part of the World Test Championship 2021-2023 cycle. However, some uncertainty has started to creep in over the series with the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant Omicron. The variant has emerged in South Africa and several countries could well impose travel restrictions as a precaution.
Ashley Giles, the managing director of the England cricket team, is hopeful that the variant doesn’t impact the series.
"We're obviously hoping it won't affect anything. There are going to be changes to those border controls in terms of our families being able to travel and we clearly hope that's not going to affect us. But we are in the hands of national and local governments," Giles said, as quotes by ESPNcricinfo.
Several Australia states have introduced new travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the new variant. These restrictions might make it difficult for players, as they will have to move around locations with quarantine rules in pace. Giles said that the discovery of new variants might change things negatively.
"We always knew things could change. I guess we hoped things would change positively as we went through the series but as we've been aware over the last two years with variants, things can also change negatively," said Giles.
"Can we prepare for everything? It's not really possible actually because of the big moving parts even around quarantine times and rules around different states. We will do everything we can to make sure the families are accommodated and of course that the players are happy."
Meanwhile, South Africa's home ODI series against Netherlands has already been postponed, after the emergence of the variant in the country.