England to decide on Ashes tour to Australia this week

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will decide this week whether the proposed arrangements in Australia are sufficient for the Ashes tour to go ahead, it said on Monday.

England captain Joe Root and other players have expressed doubts about the tour due to “bubble fatigue” and concerns that their families will not be able to travel with them due to Australia’s strict COVID-19 protocols.

Australia has caps on international arrivals and there is a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine even for the fully vaccinated.

The ECB said it has been in talks with its players and management, while the board also remains in constant contact with Cricket Australia (CA).

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“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,” the ECB said in a statement.

“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,” the statement added.

CA has been negotiating with authorities and England’s board over travel conditions and whether players’ families can visit during the Christmas and New Year period.

The five-test Ashes series is due to begin in Brisbane on December 8.

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