ECB head Tom Harrison "very confident" that the Ashes will go ahead as planned

Steve Smith and Joe Root

Ollie Phillips

Tom Harrison has expressed his confidence that England will travel to Australia this winter as planned for the Ashes.

Australia has some of the strictest Covid protocols in the world, and those England cricketers who play two formats face being away from their families for up to four months should they take part in the World T20 and the series down under.

Asked by Michael Atherton on Sky Sports whether any players had aopproached him to express their desire to stay at home, the chief executive of the ECB replied flatly saying that no one had.

Such certainty seemed to contradict recent suggestions that up to six or seven players had already expressed their concerns about the tour in meetings with the PCA and cricketing authorities.

Harrison went on to state that "all the right conversations are happening at government level in Australia", with the ECB asking that requests for players to have their famiies allowed to accompany them be accepted.

He said that such conversations would go on into the coming weeks, but that he was "very confident we will get to a place where we can fulfil our obligations to tour".