Australia

Ashes tour on as England skipper confirms he’ll come


England skipper Joe Root has confirmed he will travel to Australia for this year’s Ashes, paving the way for the troubled series to go ahead.

Official confirmation is expected to follow by the end of the week, according to the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Root’s confirmation that he will tour follows weeks of negotiations between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA).

England’s main sticking point was whether their families would be able to join them in Australia over the Christmas period, with some players facing the prospect of four months away from home. 

Avoiding two weeks of hard quarantine was also seen as a major issue, but a compromise where the players’ families will be allowed to quarantine at a resort in Victoria, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, has helped alleviate those fears.

The decision followed a meeting between Root, the ECB and CA on Tuesday to work out the final details of the tour.

Root previously said he was “desperate” to be a part of the Ashes, but had to see the full plan on what restrictions his players would face before committing.

His Australian counterpart, Tim Paine, said last week that the Ashes would take place “whether Joe is here or not”.

The first Test is due to take place at the Gabba on December 8.

Root’s backing means that England is likely to travel with a close-to full-strength squad.

England’s second string “Lions” team is also locked in to tour, with several fringe players expecting to follow their skipper in committing to touring, with fears their long-term futures as England players might be compromised by refusing to travel.

But there are still question marks over wicketkeeper/batter Jos Buttler, who has repeatedly expressed concerns about being away from his family.

England’s full touring party will be announced later in the week, but is likely to be missing star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has taken an indefinite leave from all forms of cricket.


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