Star England batsman Jos Buttler has hinted he may give the upcoming Ashes in Australia a skip. Buttler along with several England cricketers have expressed their concerns over the COVID-19 protocols in Australia. More so, as per the current regulations, the players won’t be allowed to take their families to Australia which is why many are considering missing the marquee series.
Most of the regulars will play the T20 World Cup in UAE before travelling to Australia to play the Ashes which is about four months of strict bubble life. The players are not ready to stay away from their families for such a long time.
Anyone travelling to Australia will have to serve a mandatory quarantine before moving into the team’s bio bubble. Buttler highlighted the challenges of living in a bio-bubble and said it takes a toll on players’ mental health, adding his decision to play the Ashes or not will depend on the COVID-19 protocols in Australia during the time of the series.
“COVID is incredibly challenging for everyone and Australia has a very strict policy in how they’ve tried to deal with it,” Buttler said, adding that living for long periods in bio-bubbles was a further complication.
“Until we get more information about what it (the Australia tour) might look like, it’s impossible to know what decision you’re making."
Several England experts, including Michael Vaughan, have called for the postponement of the series. However, Cricket Australia (CA) is desperate for the series to go ahead else they could be pushed to bankruptcy. They are even ready to assure the England players they will be free of bio-bubble and their families will be allowed to accompany them. The board is in talks with the government to get the exemptions for players and their families.
Meanwhile, Buttler and his wife Louise are expecting their second child thus the wicketkeeper-batter is likely to miss few matches of the ongoing India series. He has already pulled out of the second leg of IPL due to the same.
“One of the challenges is working out where the line is where you say I can’t do that,” Buttler told The Times newspaper. “I’ve sacrificed a lot for cricket and my wife and family have sacrificed a lot.
“You have to be open to” saying no, he said. “It would be incredibly disappointing if some players feel like they can’t do it, but we’re in a world at the moment where that is a possibility.”