ECB is hopeful for getting decent leniency in quarantine for Ashes

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ECB’s CEO, Tom Harrison is confident that issues regarding England player’s requirement and their families to reside in quarantine for Ashes in Australia will be sought out so that England can agree to the tour.

England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive says he is “very confident” for the upcoming Ashes series that will go ahead as planned despite possible coronavirus travel restrictions.

Australia is doing limited entry to the country because of the spread of Covid-19. England players are worried about their families being unable to join them on the tour given Australia’s hard border control.

Even if families are allowed to join the squad in Australia but it is very difficult to the prospect of lengthy quarantines and restrictive spells in a secure bubble for them. Some England players would be prepared to decline the tour if loved ones were not allowed to travel.

Harrison confirmed that Cricket Australia understood the concerns of England and they are working with Cricket Australia to make sure the tour can go ahead.

 “We are working very closely with CA and I had my latest conversation with my counterpart at CA yesterday,”

Harrison said.

“We are speaking every few days on this matter. All the right conversations are happening at the government level in Australia, and we will be using our own diplomatic channels in the UK to ensure that the view of the players and the ECB [is put across].

“This is not players asking for anything unreasonable. These are very reasonable requests that we are asking the Australian government to give some leniency frankly towards. Because it’s going to be important for us to ensure that we can give comfort to players that their families are going to be able to be in Australia and that those conditions in which they are quarantined will be reasonable.

“It’s a conversation that’s going to take place over the next few weeks. We are not going to have an answer by the end of this Test [against India at Lord’s], for example. But I am very confident we will get to a place where we can fulfill our obligations to tour.”

“The Ashes is so important to global cricket, much like an England India series, even more so in certain parts of the world and for global cricket fans,”

Harrison said.

“We never want to compromise the integrity of the series, for any reason. The integrity of the Ashes is going to be paramount, and we’ve expressed that. Cricket Australia understands this, just as well as we do.

“The issue at the moment is the process that we need to go through to get the assurances that we need to be comfortable, that our players can get on the plane to Australia and feel confident that they can be at their best, without having to cope with the mental weight of being massively concerned about the conditions under which they play… either your family not being with you at all, or your family is going through some quarantine experience.

“I think we’ve got all the right people paying all the right levels of attention to the importance of this debate, and to the critical nature of making sure we answer these questions that we are reasonably asking Cricket Australia. We’re doing it together. This is not an adversarial conversation, it’s one which we’re doing together.”