The Chronicle

Axed Test sparks Ashes assurance


THE dramatic last-minute cancellati­on of the deciding fifth Test against India at Old Trafford has heightened the tension already surroundin­g the upcoming Ashes series, although English cricket’s top administra­tor still believes postponeme­nt is “probably not where we are going to end up”.

But with India having abandoned the fifth Test against England before a ball was bowled in Manchester because of Covid-19 fears, the Ashes could yet be played under tighter bio-secure bubble restrictio­ns.

Several England cricketers have already expressed worries about the current situation in Australia, where arrivals are subject to lengthy quarantine.

The England Cricket Board is trying to agree a set of protocols with Cricket Australia, as well as the Australian government, under which the Ashes can operate.

“I think (postponeme­nt) is probably not where we are going to end up. All the England players want to be part of it,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said.

“I totally understand the players’ perspectiv­e on families being present. It’s a conversati­on we’re having with Cricket Australia and the Australian government.”

The Ashes is set to begin in Brisbane on December 8 before moving to Adelaide ahead of the traditiona­l Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and further matches in Sydney and Perth.

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