The England cricket team will tour Australia for their five-test Ashes series beginning in December subject to several critical conditions being met before they travel, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Friday.
“Over recent weeks we have made excellent progress in moving forward on the England Men’s Ashes Tour. To facilitate further progress and allow a squad to be selected, the ECB Board has met today and given its approval for the tour to go ahead. This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel,” the ECB said in a statement.
“We look forward to the ongoing assistance from Cricket Australia in resolving these matters in the coming days.”
CA, the ECB and Australian authorities had been negotiating for many months over the touring conditions in a country where international arrivals have to isolate in quarantine hotels for 14 days, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
A major issue was whether family members could join England players in Australia over the Christmas and New Year period. The country’s borders are effectively closed to non-citizens and non-permanent residents.
England captain Joe Root had also previously expressed doubts about the tour due to “bubble fatigue”.
Australian media reported that authorities are offering England’s players, staff and families the use of a Gold Coast resort in Queensland state for quarantine before the opening test starts in Brisbane on Dec. 8.
Families who arrive for the Christmas period may be accommodated at a resort in the Yarra Valley on the fringe of Melbourne before the Boxing Day test starts on Dec. 26, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Tuesday.
The tour pours about A$200 million ($146.14 million) into Cricket Australia coffers, according to local media estimates.
England will play in the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman starting this month before heading to Australia, likely keeping some players who feature in both competitions away from home for four months.