Former Australia captain Greg Chappell called on England’s cricketers to put aside concerns over quarantine restrictions and commit to travelling to Australia later this year for the upcoming Ashes series.
“You can understand the sentiment but they need to understand the history of Ashes cricket,” Chappell told The Australian.
“These guys are pretty fortunate to be playing in a cycle where they get very well paid for what they do and get a lot of perks the average person does not get.
“Players will hopefully look outside their own bubble and appreciate not just the people who have gone before them but see the people who have lost business, homes and relationships. Many are doing it tough.
“If I don’t feel overly sympathetic to the players, please forgive me.”
Debate over whether the series should go ahead or be postponed by a year has started to grow because of restrictions put in place by Australian authorities prohibiting all but a small number of arrivals into the country as a result on the pandemic.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan called this week on Australia’s government to relax those restrictions or postpone the Ashes for a year.
Chappell, however, believed players need to understand that the series can lift the mood of fans impacted by the pandemic.
“The Ashes has to happen,” said Chappell. “We have seen how watching the Olympics can lift people’s spirits at this tough time and the Ashes will do that as well.
“We toured England for six months without our families, without being well paid because we loved the game and had a feeling for what the Ashes meant.
“I remember I did not see my first son until he was four-and-half-months old.”
Leading English cricketers, including Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, face the prospect of being apart from their families for four months, including over Christmas and New Year, due to their commitments at the Twenty20 World Cup prior to the Ashes.