England cricket officials give conditional approval for Ashes tour to Australia

The England cricket team will tour Australia for the five-test Ashes series beginning in December subject to several critical conditions being met before they travel, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.

“Over recent weeks we have made excellent progress in moving forward on the England Men’s Ashes Tour. 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,” the ECB said in a statement released early on Saturday morning AEDT.

“We look forward to the ongoing assistance from Cricket Australia in resolving these matters in the coming days.”

England captain Joe Root with the Ashes and Australian skipper Tim Paine.Credit:Getty Images

CA, the ECB and Australian authorities had been negotiating for many months over the touring conditions in Australia, where international arrivals have to isolate in quarantine hotels for 14 days, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

A major issue was whether family members could join England players in Australia over the Christmas and New Year period because the borders are effectively closed to non-citizens and non-permanent residents.

England captain Joe Root had also previously expressed doubts about the tour due to “bubble fatigue”.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald revealed on Tuesday that the partners and families of England players arriving later in the series for the Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests would be allowed to quarantine in a Yarra Valley resort booked exclusively for their use, complete with the freedom to leave their rooms.

This measure, in addition to the resort facilities offered to the two groups of players, staff and families arriving into the Gold Coast in November either side of the Twenty20 World Cup, was critical to reassuring Root and his players that they would not be facing two weeks confined to a hotel room on arrival.

Failure of an England team to make the tour would have blown an estimated $200 million hole in CA’s finances, already stretched by the past two years of COVID-19 and additional biosecurity costs.

England will play in the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman starting this month before heading to Australia, likely keeping some players who feature in both competitions away from home for four months.

Reuters with staff reporters

Sports news, results and expert commentary. Sign up to our Sport newsletter.

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article