Greg Hunt: Australia Working To Be Flexible And Practical To Ensure Ashes 2021/22 Go Ahead

Australia Working To Be Flexible And Practical To Ensure Ashes 2021/22 Go Ahead: Greg Hunt

Ashes Urn Photo:
Ashes Urn Photo:

Greg Hunt, the Australian health minister, said that their government is working to be “flexible and practical” to ensure the Ashes 2021/22 can go ahead. Still, the fate of the series ultimately lies in the hands of the touring party.

Australia has been “flexible and practical” to ensure that the England men’s cricket team will tour the country for the Ashes, but the fate of the series lies in the hands of the touring party, health minister Greg Hunt said on Tuesday.

Minister for health Greg Hunt
Minister for Health Greg Hunt. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Greg Hunt: Ashes 2021/22 Happening Lies In The Hands Of England, But Australia Are Working To Be Flexible And Practical

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement that it will decide this week whether the proposed arrangements in Australia are sufficient for the Ashes 2021/22 tour to go ahead. Greg Hunt said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sports minister Richard Colbeck had been working day and night with their British counterparts to ensure the series, which starts on December 8 in Brisbane, happens.

“Ultimately, it’s always in the hands of the touring party, but we’ve been working to be flexible and practical,” Greg Hunt told Sky News Australia on Tuesday.

England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board

“On the one hand, make sure that we have safety arrangements for Australia. On the other hand, to be practical and flexible to give that touring party every chance of coming here and to have the Ashes played this summer,” said Greg Hunt.

England captain Joe Root and other players have expressed doubts about the tour due to “bubble fatigue” and concerns their families will not be able to travel with them due to Australia’s strict COVID-19 protocols. As reported by local media, the five-Test series pours about 200 million AUD into Cricket Australia (CA) coffers through broadcast, sponsorship, and ticketing.

Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt said that the government is doing everything to ensure that England’s team can come and play the Ashes in December this year.

Cricket Australia Negotiating With England and Wales Cricket Board Over The Past 6 Months To Ensure Health And Wellbeing Of Both Squads

CA has been negotiating with authorities and the ECB over travel conditions and whether players’ families can visit during the Christmas and New Year periods.

“We have had regular and positive discussions with the ECB over the past six months on providing conditions which will allow players from both teams to perform at their best during the Ashes summer,” CA said in a statement.

“The health and wellbeing of both squads while ensuring the tour proceeds in a safe manner is a priority and we especially thank our government partners for all their support in this regard.”

Australia has strict limits on international arrivals and charges people thousands of dollars to isolate in designated quarantine hotels for a mandatory 14 days, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. ECB said on Monday that its decision later this week could hinge on whether it can select a squad “befitting a series of this significance”.

“Later this week the ECB Board will meet to decide whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the Tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance,” it said.

Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)
Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)

England and Wales Cricket Board warned the forthcoming Ashes 2021/22 will only go ahead if ECB can pick a squad “befitting a series of this significance”. The future of the Ashes tour will be settled by the end of this week.

The players and the England and Wales Cricket Board met over the weekend with representatives of Cricket Australia to discuss Covid-19  arrangements for the tour.  The players have been given the rest of the week to decide their availability, with doubts still existing over the strict quarantine rules for families and the strictness of the bubble once the team leaves quarantine.

England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes, wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held.
Moeen Ali, Sam Curran,  Tom Curran, George Garton, Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Liam Livingstone, Sam Billings, and Jason Roy are the England players participating in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
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