England tour in Australia: Tim Paine insists Ashes will move forward “whether Joe Root is there or not”

Australia captain Tim Paine has said the Ashes will move forward despite the reluctance of some England players to face the strict Covid-19 quarantine restrictions.

Ashes will move forward, with or without Joe Root: Australian tests captain Tim Paine (Photo Reuters)

STRONG POINTS

  • Ashes to move forward, with or without Root: Australian testing captain Tim Paine
  • Tim Paine said no one was forcing anyone to board the flight to Ashes
  • The Ashes is set to start on December 8 in Brisbane

Australian test captain Tim Paine has said the Ashes will begin on December 8, whether or not his counterpart Joe Root is on the tour amid continued uncertainty over the level of restrictions tourists may face.

Cricket Australia is negotiating with the government and the England and Wales Cricket Board on the exact nature of the travel conditions and whether the families of the players will be able to come.

English skipper Joe Root and other members of his team have expressed doubts about the tour due to “bubble fatigue” and fear their families may not be able to travel with them due to Australia’s strict protocols.

“The ashes move on. The first test takes place on December 8 – whether Joe is there or not,” Paine told SEN Hobart radio station.

“It will be settled above us and then they will have a choice whether or not to get on that plane.

“Nobody is forcing an English player to come. That’s the beauty of the world we live in – you have a choice. If you don’t want to come, don’t come.”

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

Former England batsman turned expert Kevin Pietersen has said England players should not travel if they are under restrictions.

“There is NO WAY I am going to The Ashes this winter. ZERO luck!” he tweeted.

“Unless the ridiculous quarantine rules are crushed and my family can travel without any restrictions.”

Paine said Pietersen is not speaking on behalf of the players and should let them make the decision.

“If you want to know anything about any subject in the world, just ask Kevin Pietersen. He’s an expert in everything,” added the captain dryly.

“We haven’t heard a single English player say he won’t come. I think that has been beaten and people like Kevin like to make themselves known a bit in the media.”

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