While top England cricketers are yet to confirm their availability for the Ashes, Australia Test captain Tim Paine reckons the high-profile series would go ahead as per schedule with or without Joe Root. England skipper Root has expressed apprehensions about the tour citing 'bubble fatigue' and concerns their families will not be able to travel with them due to Australia's strict protocols.
England vice-captain Jos Buttler is also reticent, insisting he will not be on the plane if his family are unable to join him due to harsh Australian border restrictions. Reacting to uncertainties, Paine said no one is forcing anyone to board the flight but the Ashes will start on December 8 as planned.
"The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on December 8th, whether Joe is here or not," Australia's captain said on SEN sports radio.
💬 The #Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on December 8 – whether Joe is here or not 💬— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) October 1, 2021
Australia captain Tim Paine says #AUSvENG IS ON even if some England players decide not to travel due to COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.