London, Sep 26 (IANS) Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes that going to Australia and winning back the Ashes is the opportunity of a lifetime for England. He also said if players prioritise the Ashes over the men’s T20 World Cup, it will send a strong message about the importance of Test cricket.
“It will be tough for them to be away from family at Christmas, if that happens, but we are in unprecedented times. Occasionally in life you have to do things you don’t want to do. But going to Australia and winning back the Ashes is the opportunity of a lifetime. It is like playing in the Super Bowl. You might only get one chance,” wrote Vaughan in his column for The Telegraph on Sunday.
“It has been a tough time living with biobubbles and restrictions. The players must feel as though they have lived in the Big Brother house for the last 18 months. I understand why they must be fed up of all the hassle and are desperate to have their families with them this winter.
“After all they have been through, this could go down as the greatest Ashes victory. It must be enticing to think you could be remembered forever as the group that went out to Australia, quarantined, spent weeks away from your family but won the Ashes back against the odds. What a story that would be,” added Vaughan.
Vaughan feels that England can claim the Ashes if the players commit themselves completely for the Ashes trip to Australia. England last won the Ashes in Australia in 2010/11.
“The only way England have a chance is if everyone commits. We can’t have players going to the Twenty20 World Cup and then playing two or three Ashes Tests and going home. The only chance England have of beating Australia is committing early and getting a group of players together who are ready to go through ten tough weeks.
“What disappoints me is the fact not one player has said he is willing to miss the Twenty20 World Cup to play in Australia. We have another T20 World Cup next year but it will be four years before there is another Ashes tour. I would love to hear a player say he will miss the T20 World Cup and the West Indies tour in March to play in the Ashes. What a message that would send about what Test cricket means.
“But if we have players who say ‘I will go to the T20 World Cup, come home and then go back to the Caribbean in February with my family, then to the IPL’, then they are playing the system. We can’t have players picking and choosing when they play for England,” concluded the 46-year-old.