England players ‘needed some level of surety’ and now they’re fine with tour: ACA chief

Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) chief executive Todd Greenberg said on Wednesday that the England players “needed some level of surety” regarding the Covid-19 protocols prevailing Down Under, and once they got those assurances their skipper Joe Root committed himself to the Ashes tour in December this year.

The suspense over whether the England cricket team would travel to Australia for the five-match Ashes series was all but laid to rest earlier on Wednesday, with reports in UK’s Telegraph newspaper suggesting that Root has confirmed he would travel Down Under for the 11-week-long tour.

“A formal go-ahead will be given later this week after an eleventh-hour deal was struck,” reported sen.com.au quoting the British newspaper.

“For the England players, they needed some level of surety from us that what’s happened in the previous three months is probably not indicative of what might happen in the next three,” Greenberg told The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.

“We’ve talked to them (England cricketers) about that, we’ve talked to them about the vaccination rates, about the planning with governments. The long and the short of it, for me, is the England players have handled themselves really well, they’ve asked the right questions, they’ve been really professional in the way they’ve dealt with that and all credit to them.

“They’re going to get a good result here because the conditions they’ll tour in will be fantastic, and we’ll have a great Ashes summer.”

Greenberg said a “direct dialogue” with England cricketers was necessary to clear their misgivings about Covid protocols in Australia.

The families and partners of the England players arriving for the Ashes would quarantine in a Yarra Valley resort “booked exclusively for their use, complete with the freedom to leave their rooms”, reported SMH.

“That’s on us, all of us, the leaders in Australian cricket, to keep our relationships with government to make sure the protocols we’ve agreed on are consistent. But the reason why we’ve all got much more confidence than maybe we had this time last year is the level of vaccination rates across the country. That gives you a huge amount of confidence that the plans we’ve got now will be executed and we will be able to come through on the promises we’ve made,” added Greenberg.