Cricket Australia have rejected a suggestion from the ECB to move the first Ashes Test to Sydney to enable England’s players to avoid quarantine.
Joe Root’s side are due to fly to Brisbane at the start of next month to prepare for the first Test at the Gabba in December, with the tough border restrictions in Queensland condemning them to 14 days in isolation.
However, New South Wales will become the first Australian state to permit fully vaccinated travellers from next month with no quarantine for those testing negative for Covid-19, leading the ECB to explore the possibility of starting in Sydney — a proposal that had the enthusiastic backing of the players.
England captain Joe Root and his side are set to be forced to quarantine ahead of The Ashes
During talks with Cricket Australia however, it was concluded that the change could lead to added complications with fears over the tourists getting stuck in New South Wales due to other states’ strict border controls without having undergone quarantine — a prospect that could derail the entire tour.
The Ashes will therefore take place following the itinerary announced earlier this year, with the series moving from Brisbane to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, although the fifth Test in Perth remains in doubt as Western Australia are insisting on all visitors completing 14 days’ quarantine.
If the final Test was moved from Perth’s Optus Stadium it would be held in Sydney — an outcome which would find favour with the tourists, many of whom will be accompanied by their families by that stage of the tour.
Cricket Australia have rejected an ECB suggestion to move the first Ashes Test to Sydney. Aussie captain Tim Paine pictured