Root sends message to Stokes over indefinite break from cricket
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The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed the Ashes will go ahead as long as ‘several critical conditions’ are met. England lost 4-0 on their last trip Down Under in 2017-18.
Some England players had been concerned about whether their families could join them on the tour.
They were also worried about the stricter Covid regulations in Australia and how that would impact quarantine periods and ‘bubble’ arrangements.
On Tuesday, Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt said the country’s government had been “flexible and practical” to ensure the Ashes can go ahead – but added that the ultimate decision over whether the series will go ahead or not was up to England.
However, the ECB confirmed the tour will indeed go ahead after releasing a statement on Friday evening.
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“Over recent weeks we have made excellent progress in moving forward on the England Men’s Ashes Tour,” the statement said.
“To facilitate further progress and allow a squad to be selected, The ECB Board has met today and given its approval for the tour to go ahead.
“This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel.
“We look forward to the ongoing assistance from Cricket Australia in resolving these matters in the coming days.”
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The five-Test series is due to begin on 8 December and end on 18 January.
Families of England’s players and staff travelling over the Christmas period will reportedly be allowed to quarantine at the Yarra Valley resort in Melbourne.
They will not be confined to their rooms and there is hope that the quarantine period for arrivals into Australia could be reduced from 14 days to seven in November.
Australia retained the 2019 Ashes on enemy soil when they secured a 2-2 series draw.
The tourists won the first Test in convincing fashion, securing a 251-run win thanks largely to Steve Smith.
The star batsman scored 286 runs across two innings, but England ensured he couldn’t find his rhythm in the drawn second Test at Lord’s.
England took the third Test by a single wicket at Headingley, and Australia crushed their bitter rivals in the fourth Test to retain the famous urn.
Smith was the star once more, registering 211 runs in his first innings as Australia won by 185 runs at Old Trafford.
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