England to make late Ashes decision as ECB seek further clarity on restrictions

In what is surely a first, England ’s Ashes squad will be picked from Oman due to changes in itineraries and continued haggling over quarantine and conditions for the tour.

Despite receiving an outline for the tour last Friday from Cricket Australia, the ECB will not present the information to the players until the end of the week at the earliest with clarity being sought on several issues.

It means that selector and head coach Chris Silverwood will not be able to sit down and pick his squad until next week, by which time he and the T20 squad will be in Oman preparing for the World Cup in the UAE, due to the favourable quarantine restrictions there.

Moeen Ali ’s Test retirement has made one decision for Silverwood already, while Jofra Archer and Olly Stone’s injuries have also ruled them out.

Ben Stokes is another player that Silverwood is unlikely to be able to call on due to injury and fitness, while Jos Buttler is also ready to walk away from the tour for personal reasons if the terms are not right.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Buttler said: "One of the challenges is working out where the line is where you say I can't do that.

"I've sacrificed a lot for cricket and my wife and family have sacrificed a lot. You have to be open to saying no.

"It would be incredibly disappointing if some players feel like they can't do it, but we're in a world at the moment where that is a possibility."

Of the other multi-format players who are concerned about time away from their families, such as Mark Wood and Chris Woakes, the fact that they can bring them out to the UAE for the T20 World Cup, may make an Ashes trip more palatable without them.

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