The England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) request to Cricket Australia (CA) to shift the opening Ashes Test from Brisbane to Sydney has been rejected on the ground that it “could lead to added complications” that could jeopardise the series.
The Joe Root-led England side are scheduled to travel to Australia next month for the five-Test Ashes series beginning December 8 at The Gabba in Brisbane. The ECB had requested CA to move the opener to Sydney, which would have enabled England cricketers avoid Queensland’s 14-days mandatory quarantine.
Sydney, which is in 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,” dailymail.co.uk said in a report on Wednesday.
“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 reports added.
With the ECB proposal being stonewalled, the Ashes will begin as scheduled at The Gabba in Brisbane on December 8. The cricketing circus will then move to Adelaide then Melbourne and Sydney.
Though the fifth and final Test is scheduled at Perth, strict 14-day quarantine protocols in Western Australia could force CA to move the match to Sydney, which could mean back-to-back Tests at the SCG.