Ashes 2021-22: Former England star Andrew Strauss bats for players’ families on Australia tour, says ‘Wouldn’t want Ashes postponed’ – Former England skipper Andrew Strauss is hoping that families of England players will be able to accompany them to Australia for the upcoming Ashes.
Last week, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) had issued a joint statement regarding the proposed Men’s Ashes tour to Australia planned for winter 2021/22. “No, I wouldn’t want a postponement, I would want to make sure that the players’ families can get there. The last thing anyone wants is players having to make that choice between ‘my family can’t come and therefore I’m not going to go or I’m going to go,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Strauss as saying.
“The solution to this is to find some sort of middle ground between the Australian Government, Cricket Australia, and the ECB, to make it as easy as possible for families to get out there and to have as few restrictions as possible when they are over there,” he added.
Talking further on the issue, Strauss said: “Of course we all understand, having been through the pandemic here for the last 18 months, that this stuff isn’t easy. It requires setting precedent and all that sort of stuff, but I do think it is unrealistic to expect players to go over there for months on end without their family seeing them, especially with what’s gone on over the last 18 months and all the time they’ve had spend away from their families in bubbles.”
“I think that’s going to be asking them to go one step too far, and some sort of compromise needs to be reached. That’s what everyone should be working towards at the moment, rather than worrying about something that may or may not happen,” he added.
Last week, several meetings were held between the England Men’s players, ECB, and Team England Player Partnership to discuss provisional plans for the tour of Australia later in the year.
“All parties are collaborating and will continue to work together to understand protocols around bubble environments, family provision, and quarantine rules that will be in place for the tour during the current COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read.
With player and management’s welfare paramount, the ECB will discuss planning and operational requirements with Cricket Australia in the coming weeks and how they seek to implement their policies in partnership with state and federal governments. All stakeholders are committed to putting player and staff welfare as the main priority and finding the right solutions that enable the England team to compete with the best players and at the highest possible standard that the Ashes series deserves.
The Men’s Ashes is scheduled to start on December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane, and the five-Test series will conclude in Perth.