England cricketers have polarized opinion on talkSPORT by threatening to withdraw from the Ashes if their families cannot make it to Australia this winter.
From September, English multi-format cricketers face the prospect of quarantine months.
Tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh are followed by the T20 World Cup – and figures like Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler will likely fly direct from the UAE to Australia in November.
Unless the restrictions change, it seems certain that only players and staff will be allowed into Australia, forcing families to stay at home for the tour, which runs through January.
And according to the Times, a number of key players have told management they should consider pulling out of all or part of the Ashes series unless a solution can be found.
England have rotated their various teams throughout the pandemic to give everyone a break in the bubble, although it’s likely they will want most of their key men for what is a major part of cricket .
Reacting to the news on talkSPORT, former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara has denounced any sportsman who turns down an Ashes series for such reasons.
He said, “It’s four months. You have a very short athletic career.
“You can have your family for the rest of your life. You might only have one Ashes tour.
“OK, you are far from your family, but there are a lot of people who have to spend time away from their families and work abroad. They are getting down to it.
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“Suck it! You represent your country. Are you telling me you’re going to turn down an Ashes series because you can’t get your wife out?
“Don’t you want to play in The Ashes, the biggest cricket series in the world, because you want to go home and see your miss?” Let go of me. Come on.
“Here’s a plane ticket, get off and don’t come back.”
However, former England captain Nasser Hussain sided with the players when he joined talkSPORT earlier.
The Sky Sports expert stressed the need to appreciate the time cricketers nationwide have already spent away from young families since the start of the pandemic.
Hussain said: “I would fully, fully support the English players. They have spent enough time in bubbles, quite far from the families.
“A lot of these cricketers have young families with whom they spend weeks in hotels and quarantined.
“I have a lot of sympathy for them. You play your best cricket when you are happy away from cricket. Not when you’re locked in a hotel room and miss your wife and family.
“It’s not an easy situation, it’s a nightmare situation. England have been hit the hardest due to their time on the road.