London, June 23 (IANS) Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has joined the chorus for the country’s cricketers to be allowed to travel with their families for the Ashes later this year, saying that if they are not allowed “to have their family members with them”, the tour should be “called off”.
The English cricket team travels to Australia in November and plays the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane from December 8. However, they may not be accompanied by their families due to the Covid-19 protocols in Australia.
“Read reports that England cricketers may not be able to have family members with them Down Under this winter. Quite simply, if they can’t, they should call the Ashes off… 4 months away from your family is totally unacceptable #Ashes,” Vaughan, who was the England captain in all three formats at one point, tweeted on Tuesday.
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen too has come out in support of English cricketers on the prospect of them not being able to take their families to Australia during the Ashes tour.
South Africa-born Pietersen, who played over 100 Tests for England and scored more than 8,000 runs, tweeted on Tuesday, “Any ENG player that pulls out of this Ashes, if they seriously can’t see their families for FOUR MONTHS, has my full backing. Families are the most important part of a players make up. And even more so in the current climate! FOUR MONTHS with no family on Ashes Tour?”
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler too expressed his reservations on Tuesday, saying, “That (bringing back Ashes) would be a huge challenge, especially when you are accustomed to being able to take your family.”
“A lot of the guys have young families, so I am sure they would find that tough. Hopefully, a positive solution can be found,” the 30-year-old was quoted as saying by dailymail.co.uk.
England wind up the Ashes tour on January 18 in Perth. Prior to that, the likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, among others, who play limited-overs cricket too, will also be representing England on the tours of Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as the T20 World Cup.
This will mean a long time in quarantine and an almost five-month stay away from their families.
Cricket Australia has reportedly requested the Australian government to allow English cricketers’ families to travel with them.