Australia captain Tim Paine says the Ashes will go ahead this winter, even if some England players decide not to travel because of Covid restrictions.Joe Root and other members of the England team have expressed doubts over the tour, citing ‘bubble fatigue’.
Some are considering pulling out of the Ashes if their families are not allowed to travel to Australia.
“The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on 8 December – whether Joe is here or not,” said Paine.
Speaking to radio station SEN Hobart, he added: “It’ll be worked out above us and then they’ll have a choice whether to get on that plane or not.
“No-one is forcing any England 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.”
Cricket Australia has delivered proposals to the England and Wales Cricket Board, which has responded seeking clarification in a number of areas.
Australia has some of the strictest Covid-19 protocols in the world, complicated by the fact the five Tests are due to take place in five different states, which all have their own Covid rules.
“It is so hard to make a decision until we know what it looks like,” England captain Root said earlier this week.