Cricket news 2021 The Ashes, Australia vs England, dates, when is it, will it go ahead, latest updates, ECB statement, Ian Botham

England is finally set to give the green light to go ahead with this summer’s Ashes tour in Australia. Anything less would have been a titanic hypocrisy.

Reports emerged on Wednesday morning that a deal had been struck at the 11th hour between the England and Wales Cricket Board, Cricket Australia and the players, with Joe Root’s acceptance of the quarantine compromise on offer enough to rubber stamp the tour.

Australia’s offer to the families of the players to use of a resort on a winery in Victoria’s Yarra Valley as a base to quarantine in ahead of the Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests was the clincher to smooth over the concerns of the England captain, with his teammates following suit.

The only exception is wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler, who publicly expressed his concerns about touring away from his young family for so long, with the T20 World Cup in the UAE immediately before the squad is set to jet to Australia.

Watch Every Match of the VIVO IPL 2021 Season Live with FOX SPORTS on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial >

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

READ MORE:

GREEN LIGHT: ASHES SET TO BE GIVEN GO-AHEAD AFTER STRIKING DEAL IN 11th-HOUR MEETING

‘I WONDER IF THEY DON’T FANCY IT’: ENGLAND LEGEND SLAMS PLAYERS OVER ‘ULTIMATE’ ASHES TEST

Root’s approval would have triggered a huge collective sigh of relief from those on the Australian side of negotiations, who were staring into a black hole of around $200m – enough to leave Cricket Australia on the brink of bankruptcy.

It ensures that the street between England and Australia now goes both ways, with the Aussies bailing out the old enemy without question when faced with a similar – and perhaps more difficult proposition 12 months earlier, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia headed to the UK in September 2020 for a series of three ODIs and three T20s, whilst spending the whole duration in a biosecurity bubble, which restricted all players, staff and match officials to a limited number of places and forced them to spend the majority of their time to the hotel, outside of playing and training.

A number of those players then went immediately to take part in another biosecurity bubble, this time for the IPL, before arriving back in Australia for two weeks of hotel quarantine. Test players were then required to re-enter bubble life ahead of the first Test against India at the start of December as part of what would be, for some, a mammoth nearly five-month slog.

But Australia’s decision to tour England was one that helped avert a worst-case scenario of crippling debts of around $710m, according to Sky Sports. Along with the arrival of Pakistan and the West Indies, Australia helped the ECB recoup around $520m, with a loss of $190m in total.

“For the ECB, being able to deliver our broadcast commitments has, frankly, saved us from financial oblivion — it’s as stark as that,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said.

“(But) we can’t just keep losing hundreds of millions without an impact. We don’t have a bottomless pit of resources to tap into.”

The ECB’s decision to cancel its tour of Pakistan amid the Covid pandemic last month showed they were not afraid to rock the boat despite the help they were given in their time of need and it prompted England legend Ian Botham to highlight the hypocrisy should they also have pulled out of the Ashes.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I think we need to remember that the Australians came over at the height of the pandemic and sat in a bubble to play in a series of one-dayers with us,” Botham told the Daily Telegraph.

“To be quite frank, I don’t quite understand all this about, ‘Oh, I’ve got to be away for three months’. Well, you’re a professional sportsman. You do this for a living. They will do everything to make it as smooth as they can in Australia – we all know that – apart from when they’re on the pitch.

“I don’t see anyone saying, ‘I don’t want to go and be in a bubble when I go to the IPL’.

“Do you know what, if you don’t want to go, I bet there are hundreds that would love to. For goodness sake, if you have a contract, you honour it. If you don’t want to honour your contract, what happens?

“At the end of the day, there are a lot of guys who have just missed out on Ashes tours over the years and the one big regret in their international career is not playing in Australia or against Australia.”

Now a number of these England players won’t have that regret, and the relationship between two of the biggest cricketing nations in the world remains intact, as well as their financial stability.

The Ashes is the blue-riband event of the Test calendar, and thanks to the compromises of the ECB, Cricket Australia and the players involved, its return to Australia will be the perfect remedy to months of lockdown for the majority of the population.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *