'No one's forcing you to come. The Ashes will go ahead with or without Joe Root': Australia captain Tim Paine
- Reacting to uncertainties, Paine said no one forcing anyone to board the flight but the Ashes will start on December 8 as per the schedule with or without Joe Root.
At a time when top England cricketers are yet to confirm their availability for the Ashes, Australia Test captain Tim Paine said the series would go ahead as per schedule with or without Joe Root. The England captain Root, who has two young children, said this week he was "desperate" to play the five-Test series, but added: "I feel it's so hard to make a definite decision until you know."
England vice-captain Jos Buttler is also reticent, insisting he will not be on the plane if his family are unable to join him due to tough Australian border restrictions.
Reacting to uncertainties, Paine said no one forcing anyone to board the flight but the Ashes will start on December 8 as per the schedule with or without Joe Root.
“The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on December 8th, whether Joe is here or not,” Australia's captain said on SEN sports radio.
"They'll have a choice to make, you either get on that plane or don't. No one is forcing you to come. If you don't want to come, don't come. There will be a squad of England players coming here," Paine added.
Cricket Australia is negotiating with Canberra and their English counterparts over what type of biosecurity bubble players may have to endure Down Under and whether their families can come.
Paine added that he hasn't heard any England player stating that they don't want to come for the Ashes but Root and Co. need to stand up and say ‘they all want to come,’ which Paine has no doubt they do.
"We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming. I think it's been beat up," the wicketkeeper said.
"If you do want to come and represent your country and play in an Ashes series, which Joe Root said 'that's what they all want to do, that's what they dream about doing' then come and do it.
"They all want to come, there's no doubt about that. They're trying to get themselves the best possible conditions they can.
"But we all are. We don't want to give them poor conditions because we're going to be in the same boat, it'll be worked out," he added.
(With agency inputs)