Stop whingeing and get on the plane! A provocative call to England players fearing families not being able to tour and facing prospect of quarantine from an Australia beset by lockdowns and a low jab rate
- It is gratuitous for anyone in the UK to be handing out Covid advice to Aussies
- Quarantine will be a resort style all expenses paid two weeks on the Gold Coast
- New South Wales is about to come out of lockdown and Victoria is set to follow
It is not unusual for England’s cricketers to suffer severe bouts of Departure Lounge Syndrome on Ashes tours.
It often starts after a first Test flogging in hot and steamy Brisbane then drags on through the weeks of a five-Test roasting.
The hangdog look, the whinging about the beer being too cold and the weather too hot, the pitches too hard and the Kookaburra balls too soft.
Australia captain Tim Paine (right) says the Ashes will go ahead ‘with or without Joe Root’
But this time the affliction has surfaced long before anyone has left home. This Departure Lounge Syndrome has manifested itself around having to leave from Heathrow, not get out of Sydney.
Cooked by the England Cricket Board after constant series and tours in biosecurity bubbles, there have been a stream of reports about disgruntled players threatening to boycott the Ashes.
The hysteria has been magnified by former captains Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen.
It started with fears families may not be able to tour and morphed into the prospect of two weeks quarantine after arriving in Australia for the players and their families. This will not be any old quarantine but a resort style all expenses paid two weeks on the Gold Coast, with the option of training.
There have also been concerns about state border closures because of the Australian Government’s response to Covid, but this did not stop the India Test series being completed as scheduled last season when vaccination rates were far lower than they are now.
Root has refused to commit to this winter’s Ashes tour of Australia until details are confirmed
Such has been the uptake of inoculations after a slow start following a botched roll out by the Federal Government that New South Wales is about to come out of lockdown and Victoria is expected to follow suit next month.
The cries from England that everything is ‘back to normal’ is not the normal Australia wants.
It is gratuitous in the extreme for anyone from the UK to be handing out Covid advice to Australians. The UK is heading towards 140,000 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test and still averaging 150 a day. Australia has had about 1,300 Covid deaths with a daily average of about a 10th of the UK. Which suggests Australia is a much safer place to hang out than England, despite the deadly snakes, spiders and sharks.
Perhaps everyone in the UK should be more concerned about the Brexit induced fuel shortages, which have many of us in Australia musing about that old saying, be careful what you wish for.
Ashes tours are like the Olympic Games, they only come around once every four years.
England’s players are still awaiting full details of the tour quarantine conditions Down Under
For players who have the hump about quarantine, it is worth remembering that a player the quality of Dean Jones made just one Ashes tour.
Out of the current England crop of batsmen only Joe Root and Ben Stokes could be rated above Jones as quality performers and the availability of Stokes remains uncertain after his decision to step away from the game.
The remainder could not hold a candle to Jones. Do they really want to throw away what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity they probably don’t deserve?
It is just over a year ago, as the UK was in and out of lockdowns, that the ECB ‘begged’ Australia to tour for three one-day matches, according to Cricket Australia sources. This, according to one senior Cricket Australia source, was worth £80million to the ECB.
The same ECB that was recently pilloried for pulling out of a mini Twenty20 tour of Pakistan. Imagine the reaction if they pulled out of the Ashes because of a few whingeing players.
England’s cricketers should do themselves and the game a favour and get on the plane.