London: England’s cricket leaders are set to meet this week to decide whether the Ashes will continue later this year, citing fears over the strictness of Australia’s coronavirus protocols.
Joe Root’s team will play a series of five tests starting on December 8 in Brisbane, with further matches in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
But the players are believed to be concerned about quarantine, bubble environments and access for families, and Root refused to commit to the tour last week.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said on Monday it was in “regular and positive dialogue” with Cricket Australia.
“With health and wellness at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the tour can continue with conditions for players and management to perform at their best,” said an ECB statement.
“Later this week, the ECB Governing Council will meet to decide whether the existing conditions are sufficient to allow the tour to go ahead and allow the selection of a roster that suits a range of this importance,” it added. .
Multi-format England players may face months of travel and living in bio-safe bubbles. The T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman kicks off on October 17 for the Ashes series in December and January.
The issue of player welfare came into sharp focus in July when it was announced that England all-rounder Ben Stokes would be taking an indefinite break from cricket to make his mental health “priority”.
Australia are the current holders of the ashes after holding the urn after a 2-2 draw in England in 2019. They won the last series “Down Under” in 2017/18 4-0.
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