Tim Paine: Ashes Going Ahead With or Without Joe Root
Ahead of the Ashes series scheduled for December 8, Australia skipper Tim Paine has fired the first salvo, stating that the series would go ahead whether or not Joe Root decided to take part. In his statement to the media, Paine also took a swipe at Kevin Pietersen who, according to Paine, posed as an “expert on everything”.
England Players Concerned About Restrictions on Tour
Talk in cricket circles has focused recently on the Ashes tour of Australia, with an emphasis on England’s concerns regarding bubble fatigue, biosecurity restrictions, quarantine concessions and family support. Even Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison discussed the tour when they recently dined together in Washington. The players are likely to hear soon from the ECB wanting them to commit to facilitating the selection of an Ashes squad.
Root Yet to Commit
Joe Root who claimed recently that he was desperate to lead England on the upcoming Ashes tour also said that he was reluctant to commit given the uncertainty about the nature of arrangements in the host country. In his statement, Paine said he did not really care as to which English players were ready to tour.
Paine Weighs in
Paine, who was out of the game until recently while nursing a neck injury, is planning to feature in several matches for Tasmania ahead of the Ashes series. The Australia captain wasn’t sure if any England player was planning to opt out of the tour.
“They’ll have a choice to make, you either get on that plane or don’t. No one is forcing you to come. If you don’t want to come, don’t come.”
“The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on December 8th whether Joe is here or not. There will be a squad of England players coming here.”
“We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming. I think it’s been beat up. If you do want to come and represent your country and play in an Ashes series, which Joe Root said ‘that’s what they all want to do, that’s what they dream about doing’ then come and do it.”
“They all want to come, there’s no doubt about that. They’re trying to get themselves the best possible conditions they can. But we all are. We don’t want to give them poor conditions because we’re going to be in the same boat, it’ll be worked out.”
Vaughan has urged Root to Commit to Ashes Tour
Multi-format players from Australia and England are due to participate in the T20 World Cup in October-November before reaching Australia for the Ashes series. Root has also been urged by former England skipper Michael Vaughan to confirm that he would be leading England on the Ashes tour.
Pietersen not Optimistic
However, former England skipper Kevin Pietersen, who represented England in 15 Ashes Tests, reckoned that the chances of Root committing to touring were slim unless the England skipper’s family were allowed to travel without restrictions.
Paine Unimpressed with Pietersen
Commenting on Pietersen’s observation, Paine said,
“If you want to know anything on any topic in the world, you just ask Kevin. He is an expert on everything. Kev, mate, leave it to the players. Let them speak.”
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