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Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler
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Jos Buttler Hopes To Emulate Rishabh Pant’s Heroics In Australia

Jos Buttler, England keeper-batsman hopes to emulate India’s Rishabh Pant’s heroics in Australia in the upcoming Ashes series 2021/22 Down Under. Jos Buttler, initially doubtful for the Ashes tour, will now be England’s first-choice gloveman.

Rishabh Pant played a significant role in India’s two back-to-back Test series wins over Australia. The southpaw crafted game-changing and counter-attacking knocks to put Australia’s esteemed bowling attack under pressure. Jos Buttler hopes to do the same as England aims to regain the urn.

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Jos Buttler Loved The Way Rishabh Pant Can Change His Game Between The Defensive And Aggressive Sides And Be Totally Fearless

Writing in his column, Jos Buttler said he loved watching Rishabh Pant in Australia, observing his fearlessness and taking calculated risks.

Citing his desire to translate his white-ball form into red-ball cricket, the 31-year-old wrote: “One player I really enjoyed seeing play Tests in Australia was Rishabh Pant, when they won there last winter. I love the way he can change his game between the defensive side and aggressive sides, and be totally fearless. I’ll be trying to take the same sort of fearless attitude I’ve had in the T20 World Cup into my red ball batting.”

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP

He added: “That doesn’t just mean all out attack. But it’s taking away the worries about too many things – keep the game very simple and looking to put bat to ball.”

Rishabh Pant’s role was telling in India’s win this year when he played two of the greatest knocks in Sydney and Brisbane in the last two Tests. The 23-year-old and the tourists garnered praise worldwide as an understrength visiting team clinched a historical series.

After scoring 350 runs averaging 58.33 in 4 Tests in his maiden series Down Under in 2018/19 which included his career-best unbeaten 159, he scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 in five innings (3 Tests) for India against Australia in the next tour in 2020/21.

Rishabh Pant’s 97-run knock in the Sydney Test raised the prospect of an unlikely India to win before they had to settle for a draw. However, the left-hander was not to be denied in Brisbane, as he took India to a series-clinching win by scoring an attacking unbeaten innings of 89.

Jos Buttler: Whole England Team Was Upset As Their Expectations Fell Short Losing In Semi-Final In 2021 T20I World Cup

Speaking of England’s stunning semi-final exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup semi-final, Jos Buttler revealed the entire camp wasn’t in the right space. Members of England’s Test squad currently playing in the T20 World Cup — Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood — will travel on to Australia from the UAE after the tournament.

He said: “I spent my last few days in Dubai trying not to think about cricket very much – we came here with high hopes and expectations and fell short of where we wanted to get to, so we were quite flat.”

Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20I ton | Photo: Rajasthan Royals
Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20I ton | Photo: Rajasthan Royals

England was among the favourites to lift the trophy and had a consistent run until the semi-finals. However, they lost to New Zealand in a close encounter in the knockouts. Jos Buttler was England’s standout performer with the bat, scoring 269 runs in six games averaging 89.66 with one hundred and a fifty.

The England batsman became the first cricketer to get to the 3-figure mark in the T20 World Cup 2021 as he hammered 101 not out in just 67 balls on a tough pitch against Sri Lanka in their Super 12 match. Jos Buttler became the first England men’s team batter to hit a hundred in all 3 formats of international cricket. He also became the second England men’s team batsman after Alex Hales hit a hundred in a T20I World Cup.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
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Return Of Talismanic Ben Stokes Provided A Massive Boost For The Squad Of Ashes 2021/22: Rory Burns

Rory Burns said that the return of the talismanic Ben Stokes has provided a “massive boost” for the squad. Confidence is high in the England camp that they can regain the Ashes.

England has not enjoyed much Test success in recent months, losing home series to New Zealand and India, and have not held the Ashes since 2015. But the late inclusion of Ben Stokes, who has not played any cricket since July because of a finger injury and mental health issues, has lifted the morale of the squad, Rory Burns said.

Rory Burns Getty Images
Rory Burns Getty Images

Rory Burns: It’s A Massive Boost To Get Ben Stokes Back In The Side

Ben Stokes had undergone a secondary operation on his finger last month to remove scar tissue. He averages 37.05 in 71 Tests, where he amassed 4631 runs with 10 tons and has also taken 163 scalps averaging 31.38 with the ball in hand. His name wasn’t included in the Ashes 2021/22 initial squad, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) later announced that Ben Stokes would be available for the series, which is due to start on December 8.

“It’s obviously a massive boost to get Stokesy back in the side,” Rory Burns said from the luxury resort on the Gold Coast where England’s Test players, who arrived in Australia on Saturday, are serving 14 days in quarantine.

However, even without Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, England has performed brilliantly in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, having won 4 out of 5 games to easily make it to the semi-finals of the marquee tournament.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

“You know what a good player he is. To get a bloke of his calibre back around our group is a big lift for us. It’s exciting because we wanted to get out here and have the best side possible and obviously Ben adds to that,” Rory Burns said

The 30-year-old Ben Stokes is a proven match-winner, and his unbeaten 135 in a record run chase at Headingley carried England to a stunning one-wicket victory and ensured the 2019 Ashes were squared.

Ben Stokes: Every Member Of England Team Is Equally Important

But the New Zealand-born all-rounder has played down his return to full fitness and said before leaving for Australia that while he was desperate to be back playing in the “pinnacle of Test cricket”, one player did not make a team.

“Although I know I’m a senior member of that team over the last few years, every member of that team is just as important as each other,” he said.

“We’ve got the likes of Jimmy (Anderson), Broady (Stuart Broad) who have obviously been there, done that. Rooty — fantastic leader and England’s greatest-ever batter, so we’ve got everything to come back at Australia with what they’ve got.”

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England has taken a backup squad to Australia to provide the opposition in two warm-up games before the first Test starts in Brisbane on December 8. The second Test is in Adelaide from December 16, followed by the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, Sydney, beginning on January 5 and Perth on January 14, subject to quarantine requirements.

Members of England’s Test squad currently playing in the T20 World Cup — Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood — will travel on to Australia from the UAE after the tournament.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
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Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Will Open, Ishan Kishan Can Bat Anywhere In 2021 T20I World Cup: Salman Butt

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan skipper, reckons Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open the batting for India despite Ishan Kishan’s brilliant knock as an opener against England in a T20 World Cup 2021 warm-up game in Dubai on Monday. Ishan Kishan opened the batting with KL Rahul in India’s first warm-up clash ahead of the T20 World Cup.

While Ishan Kishan smashed 70 off 46 balls, KL Rahul made a blazing 51 off 24. The duo featured in an opening stand of 82 in 8.2 overs as India chased down a target of 189 with ease, winning the clash by seven wickets.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

Salman Butt: Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Will Open

On Monday, despite Ishan Kishan’s brilliant innings against England, Salman Butt opined that India will stick to the Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul opening pair.

Discussing India’s batting order for the T20 World Cup 2021, the former cricketer stated: “Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open, I don’t think that will change. Ishan Kishan can bat one down or in the middle-order or after Virat Kohli. He is in amazing form and can bat anywhere in the batting order.”

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

Speaking about youngster Ishan Kishan, Salman Butt added that he looked equally good against pace and spin. His 70 off 46 balls was studded with 7 fours and 3 sixes, and his strike rate was 152.17.

The 37-year-old elaborated: “I haven’t seen him in any kind of trouble either against the new ball or against the spinners. These are very good signs because he played Moeen Ali very well. Adil Rashid is a very good leg-spinner and he attacked him in rather impressive fashion. As an opener, he was confident against the fast bowlers as well.”

Ishan Kishan retired on 70, after which Rishabh Pant (29 not out) and Hardik Pandya (12 not out) took India past the finish line in 19 overs.

Salman Butt: It Looked Like KL Rahul Was Batting Against A Bowling Machine

While Ishan Kishan top-scored for India in the warm-up encounter against England on Monday, KL Rahul was equally impressive, smashing six fours and three sixes. His strike rate was a monumental 212.5-the best of the Indian innings as it came off only 24 balls.

Analyzing KL Rahul’s batting, Salman Butt said: “The highlight of India’s batting, according to me, was KL Rahul’s knock. If anyone wants to watch beautiful batting, they must watch KL Rahul bat. The way he took on England’s bowlers, it seemed like he was batting against a bowling machine. “

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

“He was able to hit the ball anywhere at his will. The standout aspect of his innings was that most of the shots he played were correct strokes. The kind of shots he played demonstrated the dangerous form that he is currently in.”

KL Rahul has an amazing T20 record. He has smashed 1557 runs in 49 T20Is at a strike rate of 142.19. In IPL 2021, he amassed 626 runs in 13 games and was the third-leading run-getter in the edition.
Earlier, England managed to score 188/5 after Jonny Bairstow’s 49 off 36 balls and Moeen Ali’s cameo of unbeaten 43 off 20 balls as Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar(4 overs, 54 runs, 0 wickets) was taken to the cleaners. Mohammed Shami conceded 40 runs, too, despite picking 3 scalps. For England, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid were too expensive as all of them conceded 10 runs per over or more.
Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant-- File Photo: PTI
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Rishabh Pant Can Change The Course Of A Match With His Power Hitting: VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman believes Rishabh Pant’s batting position should be defined by the number of overs remaining considering the dashing wicketkeeper-batter’s match-winning abilities.

Rishabh Pant walked into bat at the No. 4 position during India’s run chase in their first T20 World Cup warm-up encounter against England. The southpaw smashed an unbeaten 29 off only 14 deliveries, including 1 four and 3 sixes to see his team across the finish line, chasing a stiff 189.

Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)
Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)

VVS Laxman: Rishabh Pant Can Change Course Of A Match With His Power Hitting

While reviewing the India-England warm-up encounter on Star Sports, VVS Laxman was asked if Rishabh Pant should continue to bat at No. 4 ahead of Suryakumar Yadav.

He responded: “I feel No. 4 is the right position for Suryakumar Yadav. Rishabh Pant can start at No. 5 but if two or three wickets have fallen around the 13th or 14th over, then Rishabh Pant can go and bat. I will pay more attention to the overs because Rishabh Pant is a batter who can change the course of a match with his power hitting.”

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

The former India cricketer added that game-changers like Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya need to be promoted based on the match situation.

VVS Laxman explained: “So I will send Rishabh Pant in as soon as 14 overs are done. Batters like Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya who can play the big shots and play the role of a finisher, showing that flexibility is extremely necessary.”

VVS Laxman was also happy that Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya had provided the finishing touches to India’s run chase. After KL Rahul’s 51 and Ishan Kishan’s 70, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya(12*) remained unbeaten as India managed to cross the 189 run target in the penultimate over.

“I feel 40 runs were required off the last four overs and you can see a similar situation in the main round of the World Cup, so it was a proper warm-up match as you saw the challenges you will see in the main round.”

Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya are expected to play the finishers’ role for Team India. However, the latter has not been at his best lately, and the Indian team will hope that he regains his touch before the actual tournament begins.

VVS Laxman: No. 3 Is The Right Position For Virat Kohli

VVS Laxman was also asked about Virat Kohli’s decision to bat at No. 3.

He replied: “I feel it is the right position for him because you have experienced opening batsmen in KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. And the way Ishan Kishan is batting, I am feeling that he is going to force the team management to play him in the playing XI but No. 3 is the right position for Virat Kohli.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Virat Kohli, who batted at No. 3 in yesterday’s warm-up encounter, scored 11 runs off 13 deliveries. However, he wasn’t at his fluent best and will hope for a longer hit in the middle during the second warm-up match against Australia.

Earlier, England managed to score 188/5 after Jonny Bairstow’s 49 off 36 balls and Moeen Ali’s cameo of unbeaten 43 off 20 balls as Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar(4 overs, 54 runs, 0 wickets) was taken to the cleaners. Mohammed Shami conceded 40 runs despite picking 3 scalps. For England, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid were too expensive as all of them conceded 10 runs per over or more.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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Australia Working To Be Flexible And Practical To Ensure Ashes 2021/22 Go Ahead: Greg Hunt

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.
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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England And Wales Cricket Board Warned Ashes 2021/22 Will Go Ahead Only If England Can Assemble A Strong Squad

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 and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board

England And Wales Cricket Board Warns Ashes Will Go Ahead Only If Conditions Are Favourable And England Can Assemble A Strong Squad

Further meetings between the concerned players are expected during the week before they make a final decision on their availability. The England and Wales Cricket Board released a statement on Monday morning, just a few hours before those players involved in the Twenty20 World Cup fly out to Oman to begin their winter. If there are mass withdrawals as reported, it would dent the credibility of the Ashes, but postponement is a last resort.

“Over the weekend we have been talking to England men’s players and management to provide them with the latest information about the proposed arrangements for this winter’s scheduled Ashes tour,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board statement.

England, PTI
England, PTI

“We remain in regular and positive dialogue with Cricket Australia over these arrangements as the picture is constantly evolving. With health and wellbeing at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the tour can go ahead with conditions for players and management to perform at their best.”

“We will continue talking to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback. 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.”

To postpone the tour would be a financial disaster for Cricket Australia. Still, at the same time, England and Wales Cricket Board want to guarantee the best possible conditions for its players and their families, so it will continue to exert pressure behind the scenes this week.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have released a statement on the Ashes tour, saying that they will make a decision over whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the tour to go ahead later this week. The Ashes tour to Australia has been in doubt due to the quarantine conditions and players’ families accompanying them for the five-match series.

Cricket Australia Tried Reassuring That Rules Will Be Relaxed

Cricket Australia tried to reassure the players that rules would be relaxed as Australia’s vaccination rate grew. The Government expected to open up the country once 80 per cent of the population have been double-jabbed, a target they expect to reach in early December.

Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia
It is understood that England’s key players, including captain Joe Root, will decide on their availability shortly. However, 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.
Some of the players will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. England’s participation in the Ashes series has been a debatable issue in the last few months due to players’ concerns with the strict quarantine measures in Australia. Notably, the Australian government refused to relax the stringent quarantine protocols for the England players and their families.
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Tim Paine Didn’t Show Empathy, Says Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain said that England players getting criticized for their attitude towards quarantining in Australia ahead of the Ashes does not ‘sit comfortably’ with him.

Australia captain Tim Paine did not show empathy as a fellow professional for England players when he said that the Ashes will go ahead regardless of whether Joe Root boards the plane to Australia or not, said Nasser Hussain.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain: Tim Paine Didn’t Show Empathy

The former England captain said that current skipper Joe Root and the rest of the players have conducted themselves well, considering their hectic schedule and the number of days they had to spend in quarantine.

“When Tim Paine, Australia’s Test captain, spoke recently I didn’t hear much empathy from a fellow professional. Now others have jumped on the Ashes bandwagon, as if England are somehow trying to dodge an important series,” said Nasser Hussain.

Tim Paine recently said that England players have a choice to make as far as travelling to Australia is concerned for the Ashes later this year.

“They’ll have a choice to make, you either get on that plane or don’t,” Australia’s captain said on radio station SEN.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

“No one is forcing you to come. If you don’t want to come, don’t come. The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on 8 December, whether Joe is here or not. There will be a squad of England players coming here.”

Tim Paine, Australia Test captain, said that the Ashes will begin on December 8 regardless of whether counterpart Joe Root is part of the tour amid ongoing uncertainty about the level of restrictions the tourists may face.

Nasser Hussain: England Has Played 18 Tests-The Most By Any Team Since Covid-19

Nasser Hussain said that England players have played many more Tests than Australia has since March 2020.

“England have played 18 Test matches since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. That’s five more than anyone else – and 14 more than Australia, whose four Tests all came at home against India last winter,” said Nasser Hussain.

England, PTI
England, PTI
“I’m quite proud of the way in which England’s Test team have kept the show on the road in difficult circumstances, moving in and out of bubbles and spending time away from their families. It’s draining. Mental health has suffered,” he said.
Australia has caps on international arrivals, and there is a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine even for the fully vaccinated.  The first Australia vs England Test match will be contested at Brisbane’s Gabba from 8-12 December whereas, the 2nd Test match will be at the Adelaide Oval from 16-20 December, and it will be a Day-Night affair.
The iconic Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (26-30 December) and Sydney Cricket Ground (5-9 January), respectively, with the final 5th Test scheduled for Perth’s Optus Stadium (14-18 January).
It is understood that England’s key players, including captain Joe Root, will decide on their availability shortly. However, 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.
Some of the players will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. England’s participation in the Ashes series has been a debatable issue in the last few months due to players’ concerns with the strict quarantine measures in Australia. Notably, the Australian government refused to relax the stringent quarantine protocols for the England players and their families.
Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss
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The Ashes 2021/22 Need To Go Ahead: Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss, the former England captain has advised England players to board the plane for the Ashes tour if selected. England’s participation in the Ashes series has been a debatable issue in the last few months due to players’ concerns with the strict quarantine measures in Australia. Notably, the Australian government refused to relax the stringent quarantine protocols for the England players and their families.

It is understood that England’s key players, including captain Joe Root, will decide on their availability shortly. 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. Some of the players will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021.

Andrew Strauss. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Andrew Strauss. (Image Credits: Twitter)

Andrew Strauss: The Ashes Need To Go Ahead

However, Andrew Strauss earmarked the Ashes as the most significant event in the Test calendar and all the stakeholders need to make it happen by making compromises.

“To me, the Ashes need to go ahead. We are learning to live with Covid in this country and Australia is in a slightly different place. But the Ashes means a lot to a lot of people, and some of them are people that are going through a tough time themselves. There is a way of making it happen and I think we are moving in the right direction. I think there will be accommodations made and that families will get out there.”

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

While Andrew Strauss stated he understands every player’s plight, he added that they must not pull out of an Ashes tour, if selected. He trusts both cricketing boards to find a workable solution for everyone.

“Personally, I think if you are selected on an Ashes tour, you should go. An Ashes tour is not the one to pull out of, in my opinion. But I understand that everyone sees things slightly differently. But I think that between Cricket Australia, the Australian government and the ECB, they will find a way that works for both the players and their families.”

Australian Test captain Tim Paine believes the Ashes 2021/22 will take place, irrespective of which set of English players decide to board the plane. He copped flak from the England fans for his lack of empathy and consideration.

Andrew Strauss: England Should Not Be Over Dependant On James Anderson And Stuart Broad

Andrew Strauss further said the tourists would have a daunting task even if all their key players are available. He expressed concerns about the batting unit which failed against New Zealand and India and thinks James Anderson and Stuart Broad cannot be overly relied on to help England regain the urn.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

The 44-year old added: “I think we are going to have to play a lot better than we did this summer, put it that way. Our top order needs to function better than it has done for a long time. Playing against the new ball in Australia is a very tough thing to do. There will be a lot of responsibility on our bowling attack. Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will have a role to play but we can’t just rely on them to win us the Ashes.”

The hosts are the current holders of the Ashes as Tim Paine’s men retained the urn in England in 2019.

Stuart Broad confirmed that he will be part of the Ashes 2021/22 tour if his fitness permits him to play but added that England’s players still need more details about the Covid-19 restrictions they will undergo in Australia.

It is expected that some of England’s multi-format players will withdraw from the trip regardless of the final protocols that are put in place but Stuart Broad, who is a single-format player and could even have an outside chance of captaining the side if Joe Root isn’t available, has committed to being there.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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Perth May Not Be Able To Host 5th Ashes Test Due To COVID-19

Perth might not be able to host the forthcoming fifth Ashes Test due to Covid restrictions. Optus Stadium in Perth may not be able to host the fifth and final match of the Ashes series in January next year as a surging Covid-19 pandemic is seeing border controls.

Serious doubts are raised on whether the Optus Stadium in Perth would be able to host the fifth and final match of the Ashes series in January next year as a surging Covid-19 pandemic is seeing border controls being implemented more strictly.

Optus Stadium, Perth,
Optus Stadium, Perth, (Photo: IANS)

Perth Test: Cricket Australia Will Find It Difficult To Stage A Test At Perth

West Australia has taken stringent measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic and is unlikely to open its borders to New South Wales and Victoria this year-end and possibly the beginning of next year.  Mike McKenna, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Optus Stadium — the venue for the fifth Ashes Test from January 14-18 — said that “there’s no way the summer could go ahead as scheduled in the current climate”.

“But I think the COVID situation even now would make you question that scheduling (of the Ashes Test). The direction they’re going in, it’s going to be very difficult for Cricket Australia to try to find a program that’s going to work easily. They’re no doubt thinking about that now,” McKenna told SEN’s Dwayne’s World on Thursday.

Perth stadium CEO Mike McKenna
Perth Stadium CEO Mike McKenna (ABC News: Jacob Kagi)

“Right at the moment, it would not be possible to bring a team from New South Wales where they’re playing a Sydney Test to Perth, it just would not happen the way things are going. These things change, I think Cricket Australia is going to spend some time having a look at that.”

While Mike McKenna said that though Perth Stadium could be in doubt to host any fixtures, the “Optus Stadium would be happy to help out Cricket Australia if they were forced to move forthcoming Tests from other venues pending COVID restrictions”.

“We’re ready to help Cricket Australia should they need to move Tests from other venues. But, who knows what the situation will be here, in Queensland or where South Australia might be by that part of the summer. We’re only hoping that we stay clear of COVID, but at some stage West Australia will have to make some decisions about borders and opening up to COVID. Who knows what that all looks like and when,” he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there won’t be any kind of special arrangement for the visiting England team that will tour the country in December for the Ashes. The historic Ashes series has been under an ambivalent situation as England players remain sceptical and they also sought more clarity from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regarding the travel restrictions in Australia.

Ashes 2021/22 Will See 5 Tests Starting On December 8, 2021, And Ending On January 18, 2022

At this stage, the first Test match between Australia and England is scheduled to begin on December 8th at The Gabba in Brisbane. From thereon the sides will meet in Adelaide, before moving to Melbourne for the annual Boxing Day Test and Sydney for the New Year’s Test. The Ashes Test series will conclude in Perth, with the final match beginning on January 14th.

England(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
England (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

 

DATE VENUE
December 8-12 The Gabba, Brisbane
December 16-20 Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
December 26-30 Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
January 5-9 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
January 14-18 Perth Stadium, Perth

Australia is the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw. The series will be part of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship. As many as 10 England players could be forced to pull out of the Ashes tour of Australia if an agreement is not arrived at over travel and quarantine arrangements for their families.

Australia has some of the strictest COVID-19 quarantine regulations in place. England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Moeen Ali, 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. Some of those will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour.

England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
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Stuart Broad Confirms He Will Be A Part Of The Ashes 2021/22 Tour If Fitness Permits Him

Stuart Broad confirmed that he will be part of the Ashes 2021/22 tour if his fitness permits him to play but added that England’s players still need more details about the Covid-19 restrictions they will undergo in Australia.

It is expected that some multi-format players will withdraw from the trip regardless of the final protocols that are put in place but Stuart Broad, who is a single-format player and could even have an outside chance of captaining the side if Joe Root isn’t available, has committed to being there. The pacer was ruled out of the recently concluded India Test series after playing the first Test when he suffered a calf injury.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Stuart Broad Would Be Happy To Get On A Plane To Australia In November

England players have expressed serious concerns about the quarantine and bio-bubble protocols being put in place for the team when they tour Australia for the gruelling Ashes series, and there are speculations that some key players might pull out of the tour. Stuart Broad – a veteran of 149 Tests and who has taken a whopping 524 wickets opened up on the matter.

“If you ask me if I would be happy to get on a plane to Australia in November, I would say yes,” Stuart Broad said in his Mail on Sunday column. “I am working tirelessly to get there. I don’t feel there will be a postponement. In my mind, it is 100 percent clear that an England team of some description will embark on the tour.”

“It is now just a couple of weeks away from a squad being selected but players can’t sign up to something unless they know what they are signing up for,” Stuart Broad said

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad(Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Extensive negotiations are continuing between the two boards- ECB and CA to try and find compromises to maintain quarantine norms and living arrangements during the two-month trip with Australia continuing to battle significant Covid-19 outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales, although there remains hope that restrictions will be eased by November end.

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. Some of the players will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour. Australia is the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw.

Stuart Broad: ECB Informed Cricketers With Available Minimal Details Of Australia’s Plans For Ashes 2021/22

However, the final conditions of the tour largely rest with what Cricket Australia is able to negotiate with the federal and state governments in Australia. The biggest challenge is finding biosecure plans that allow the tour to move around the country.

“The ECB have tried to keep us as informed as possible with the information that they are getting from Cricket Australia,” Stuart Broad said. “It’s just that minimal detail has been available. I don’t think anyone can say hand on heart that we won’t be living in a bubble out there and that will be extremely challenging.”

The conditions of the initial 14-day quarantine period have been one of the key areas of discussion between the two boards. The England squad may be housed in a resort on the Gold Coast with a greater degree of freedom, although it may be limited to a period of training each day. India was permitted the same last season.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au

Recently the India Women’s squad, and the majority of the women Australia players, had to undergo two weeks hard quarantine in Brisbane ahead of their multi-format series.

“With the situation, Australia is in — with their own citizens struggling to get into the country — I am not thinking we will just be able to fly in with no quarantining, as if we are living a normal life, because the world is not a normal place at the moment,” Stuart Broad said.

“We need to be in a situation where we are allowed to train for between two and three hours a day. An international bowler rarely goes two weeks in a year without bowling,” Stuart Broad said.
While doubts about whether families will be able to travel have receded, there remain concerns about the conditions of their length of the quarantine period. The possibility of reducing the quarantine period for the squad, which will be entirely double vaccinated, had been raised. 14 days quarantine period is the federal government policy norm throughout the pandemic, so it would appear an unlikely concession.

Late last week a glimmer of a solution had emerged when the New South Wales government, who last season helped rescue the India Test tour by providing the necessary quarantine and training facilities, announced a trial program for a reduced seven-day home quarantine program that would begin in late September as part of the plan to open up international borders. However, progress would have to move quickly for it to be an option for the Ashes.

The Ashes between England and Australia is set to commence on December 8 in Brisbane.

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