Strings attached England-Ashes tour!!



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The Ashes receives green light Image: Orange Lane

England’s (UK) cricket bosses have given the go-ahead for the men’s Ashes tour to Australia this summer.

The ‘Cricket.com.au’ stated that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) issued a statement recently which signals that the marquee five-Test series should begin as scheduled in Brisbane (Australia) on December 8th.

London (United Kingdom)-headquartered The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was formed on January 1st, 1997 as a single governing body to combine the roles formerly fulfilled by the Test and County Cricket Board, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council.

The ‘Cricket.com.au’ further stated that yet the ECB has only given the green light for the tour on the condition that “several critical factors” still have to be met by their Australian hosts.

The COVID-19 restrictions in place in Australia had prompted concerns from some England players, yet a series of crisis meetings held recently appear to have appeased them and produced significant progress.

It is now almost confirmed that England captain Joe Root, who recently refused to confirm whether he would tour, will be leading the Australia-bound squad.

Read the ECB statement, “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 met recently and gave its approval for the tour to go ahead. This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel. We look forward to the ongoing assistance from Cricket Australia in resolving these matters in the coming days.”

The ECB statement didn’t elaborate on what the “critical conditions” were but the major sticking point for England seems to have been whether the squad’s family members could join them in Australia over the festive period.

Reports have suggested they could be given the use of a Gold Coast resort in Queensland to quarantine before the first Test while their families, arriving for Christmas, could be accommodated at a resort in the Yarra Valley before the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne (Australia).

The Boxing Day Test match is a cricket Test match held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia involving the Australian cricket team and an opposing national team that is touring Australia during the Southern summer. It begins annually on Boxing Day and is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The green light for the tour has only come about after long-running negotiations between the two countries – even at the highest level.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson even raised the issue with his Aussie counterpart last month, while the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, also reached out to the captain of the Australian national team in Test cricket, Tim Paine, over the tour.

Stated Paine, “I’ve had a little bit of contact with (Scott Morrison) over my period as Test captain. He always touches base to see how it’s going. He was keen to find out what the sticking points might have been from a players’ perspective.”

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