ECB President Ian Watmore says they have until the first week of November “to make a difference”

Ian Watmore, the president of the ECB, admitted that this winter’s Ashes campaign could remain uncertain until Joe Root and the England test team arrive in Australia on November 6.

The ECB is reviewing the tour’s Covid security conditions, which it received from Cricket Australia on Friday following consultations with Australian state and federal governments.

While the terms, as they stand, are supposed to include some flexibility over quarantine arrangements, including the prospect of players’ families joining them on tour, the prospect remains of a number of high-profile withdrawals. .

The issue is further complicated by the previous T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. If England’s white ball team reached the tournament final – as they did five years ago in India – then the multi-format contingent could arrive in Australia up to ten days after the test specialists, creating other potential quarantine issues.

Speaking on Tuesday, even Root himself – in the form of his life and “desperate” to be part of one of the highlights of a player’s career – admitted he couldn’t yet say for sure if he would go to Australia.

“There is no simple date to decide on, other than when this plane will go to Australia,” Watmore said. The daily mail. “Joe and the players not involved in the World Cup will be leaving the first week of November, so we have until then to turn things around.

“We are trying to build an image, confident or less confident, of conditions. There are issues to be worked out with Cricket Australia, there are issues for CA to be worked out with their government and for the federal government to be worked out with That is. a complicated table.

Every player I’ve spoken to, if you throw an Ash in front of them, that’s the most important thing to them

ECB President Ian Watmore

“CA knows what we need to make the tour a success and they are working hard to deliver it. We have to see the details, check with the players and management and push back or engage.”

Despite attempts to reassure players, the Covid situation in Australia remains fluid, as demonstrated on Tuesday when Tasmania withdrew from their Sheffield Shield match against Queensland in Brisbane, after four new cases of Covid in the state raised fears of an instant lockdown.

Likewise, the Perth test, which is due to start on January 14, is expected to be moved unless players and their families can benefit from an exemption from the 14-day quarantine period currently required by the Australian government. -Western.

“This is not a red line type discussion, but we are working hard to provide an environment that our players and their families want to come in and perform at their best,” added Watmore. “If Australia can do it, so much the better, otherwise we may have to have more difficult talks.”

There remains the possibility of sending a weakened squad to take part in the series, but Watmore echoed Root’s own thoughts on the matter, insisting that an Ashes tour is a career highlight for any player.

“Every player I’ve spoken to, if you throw an Ash in front of them, that’s the most important thing to them,” Watmore said. “They want to prove themselves at this stage. We have to focus on securing conditions with Australia that allow us to advance our best team.”

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