"Too big to fail?": Postponed Ashes looking increasingly possible, if not probable

The Ashes

Ollie Phillips

Officials from the ECB will meet with Cricket Australia in the next few weeks to discuss the very real possibility of the Ashes being postponed, as per The Times on Monday. Australia's COVID-19 restrictions are amongst the strictest in the world, with three states under complete lockdown, and several England players have expressed their desire to stay at home should they be asked to leave their families for up to four months.

Cricket Australia have suggested that they will do everything within their power to allow families into the country with the players, but there are obvious complications that have been highlighted by prime minister Scott Morrison, who will no doubt face justified backlash for allowing so many individuals in from England when Australian citizens are being denied the chance to visit dying relatives in the country.

The logistical nightmare that would be postponing the Ashes until 2022-23 still renders its probability fairly low, although after Ben Stokes, that man of such character and mental steel, dropped out of England's Test series with India to look after his mental health, the chances of similar outlooks changing before cricket's most claustrophobic series at the best of times seem minute.

From a less pecuniary perspective and ignoring some finer, necessary details, to not have England's best players involved, and for the remainder to be locked within such personal and emotional strain, would make for a much-undermined spectacle. Adding to that the prospect of the defeaning silence of an absent Barmy Army, these imminent talks seem to be pushing rumours ever-closer to reality.