The England Men’s team is reportedly ready to play the Ashes 2021 as they spoke to the top brasses of Cricket Australia on Tuesday about their concerns on the strict COVID-19 guidelines. The England and Wales Cricket Board has asked the players to make a decision till the end of the week.
Ashes will go ahead only when an adequate number of front-line English players agree to participate in the five-match Test series. UK’s Daily Telegraph has reported that the skipper Joe Root has led a group of players willing to play the series. According to the report, Jos Buttler could be the only player who will not tour Australia. Ben Stokes is on an indefinite break from the game after the ODI series against Pakistan at home and Jofra Archer was already unavailable due to injury. CA are yet to officially be informed but will no doubt be breathing a massive sigh of relief given the magnitude of the decision.
CA CEO Nick Hockley stressed to England players in the two separate meetings that conditions in Australia were improving as the country's vaccination rate is on the rise. Likewise, it's believed that moving the second group of England's players' families to arrive before Christmas to quarantine in Melbourne has also been crucial.
The move to let a second group into Victoria would be welcome news, given there could be some freedoms for families in regional Victoria. Although the deal is not made official by the Victorian government, it could be a possibility with the road map out of COVID-19 as Victoria edges closer to 70 and 80 percent double dosage rates.
The last concern for CA will now be the Perth Test, with officials adamant they will be granted clearance to play in Western Australia just days after being in Sydney. If that does fall through, Canberra or Hobart could seize their first Ashes Test. Alternatively, the match could be held as a second fixture at the SCG or MCG.