Australia captain Tim Paine is adamant that the Ashes are going ahead ‘whether Joe Root is here or NOT’… as England players await full details of Covid rules for this winter’s series
- Details for this year’s Ashes series in Australia are currently being negotiated
- Some England players are reluctant to commit due to quarantine restrictions
- Jos Buttler says he wouldn’t be willing to spend months away from his family
- Joe Root has also expressed concerns but Australia skipper Tim Paine boldly stated that the series will go ahead with or without the England captain
- Paine also had a pop at Kevin Pietersen, who said he definitely would not tour
Australia captain Tim Paine is completely adamant that this winter’s Ashes series will go ahead despite uncertainty due to Covid quarantine restrictions and the reluctance of some England players.
Joe Root admits there are doubts surrounding the tour down under due to concerns over ‘bubble fatigue’, and Jos Buttler has already said he won’t tour if he has to spend months away from his family.
The ECB are currently in negotiations with Cricket Australia over the specifics but with the first Test set to start at the beginning of December, Paine is adamant that the Ashes will go ahead no matter who does or doesn’t attend.
Australia captain Tim Paine (right) says the Ashes will go ahead ‘with or without Joe Root’
England’s players are still awaiting full details of the tour quarantine conditions Down Under
‘The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on December 8 – whether Joe is here or not,’ the Australia captain told radio station SEN Hobart.
‘It’ll be worked out above us and then they’ll have a choice whether to get on that plane or not.
‘No one is forcing any England player to come. That’s the beauty of the world we live in – you have a choice. If you don’t want to come, don’t come.’
Australia has caps on international arrivals and there is a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine even for the fully vaccinated.
‘We are still waiting for information,’ said Root this week.
Root has refused to commit to this winter’s Ashes tour of Australia until details are confirmed
‘It’s a little bit frustrating but it’s where we are at. It’s hard to know what will happen until we find out what conditions will be like. It’s very difficult at this stage to know where everything sits.’
Buttler – whose wife Louise gave birth to their second daughter, Margot, earlier this month – could face the prospect of several months without seeing his family, with the T20 World Cup in the Middle East starting later this month.
He said: ‘Definitely, for myself if I had to do a World Cup and an Ashes for five months without seeing my family, I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that.’
England’s Jos Buttler says he wouldn’t be willing to spend months away from his family if they weren’t allowed to travel to Australia for the Ashes tour
It remains to be seen whether Buttler’s wife Louise and their two young daughters Georgia and Margot will be allowed to tour with him in Australia amid strict Covid rules
Former England batsman turned pundit Kevin Pietersen said this week there was ‘zero chance’ he would travel to Australia without exemptions for his family – and Paine was not impressed.
‘If you want to know anything on any topic in the world, you just ask Kevin Pietersen. He is an expert on everything,’ he said.
‘We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming. I think it’s been beat up and people like Kevin like to get themselves a little bit of exposure in the media.’
Australia retained the Ashes in 2019 in England after a memorable 2-2 series draw