Ashes: ECB to meet this week to decide if tour can go ahead after 'positive dialogue' with Cricket Australia
England are due to travel to Australia this winter, with a five-match Test series scheduled to begin on December 8, but the tour has been thrown into doubt due to uncertainty over coronavirus restrictions
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 04/10/21 1:26pm
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will meet this week to decide whether the upcoming Ashes series can go ahead as planned after "positive dialogue" with Cricket Australia.
England are due to travel to Australia this winter, with a five-match Test series scheduled to begin on December 8, but the tour has been thrown into doubt due to ongoing uncertainty over coronavirus restrictions.
England's cricketers are still awaiting details of quarantine, bubble and entry restrictions and several players - including captain Joe Root and vice-captain Jos Buttler - have expressed doubts about the tour.
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The ECB says it remains in discussions with Cricket Australia and will make a decision over the viability of the tour at a meeting later this week.
"Over the weekend we have been talking to England men's players and management to provide them with the latest information about the proposed arrangements for this winter's scheduled Ashes tour," read a statement released on Monday.
"We remain in regular and positive dialogue with Cricket Australia over these arrangements as the picture is constantly evolving.
"With health and wellbeing at the forefront, our focus is to ensure the tour can go ahead with conditions for players and management to perform at their best.
"We will continue talking to our players this week to share the latest information and seek feedback.
"Later this week the ECB Board will meet to decide whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the Tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance."
Speaking last week, Root said he is yet to make a "definite decision" on whether he will commit to the Ashes series, as he and his team-mates wait to hear the exact conditions of entry into Australia.
Australia captain Tim Paine insists the series will go ahead regardless of the England players' reluctance.
"The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on December 8 - whether Joe is here or not," Paine told radio station SEN Hobart.
"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."