Ashes 2021-22: Nasser Hussain says Australia lecturing England players about quarantine fears is a bit rich

England players fear that their families may not be able to travel Down Under | Getty

Former England cricketer-turned-commentator Nasser Hussain has slammed Australia’s lack of empathy for England’s squad as dark clouds still looming over Joe Root and his team’s tour Down Under for the iconic Ashes series.

The Ashes 2021-22 is due to start on December 8 with the first Test match at the Gabba, Brisbane. However, it remains to be seen whether the visitors will travel Australia with strict quarantine rules in place.

Notably, England players, particularly those with young children, have a fear that their families may not be able to travel with them because of strict Australian border controls.

“England have played 18 Test matches since the start of the pandemic in March 2020,” Hussain wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“That’s five more than anyone else — and 14 more than Australia, whose four Tests all came at home against India last winter.

“I’m quite proud of the way in which England’s Test team have kept the show on the road in difficult circumstances, moving in and out of bubbles and spending time away from their families.

“It’s draining. Mental health has suffered. So for people in Australia to start lecturing them, and telling them they should simply suck it up, is a bit rich.”

Apparently, Cricket Australia has been negotiating with authorities and the ECB over travel restrictions.

As per the current regulations, there is a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine upon landing in Australia even for fully vaccinated people. Moreover, the Australian government has put caps on international arrivals.

Amid the development, Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine said last week that the Ashes would go ahead despite some England players’ unwillingness to travel.

“Unless you’ve spent time in a bubble — and some of these guys have done it repeatedly — you don’t get to lecture other people on how they should behave,” wrote Hussain.

“It’s a delicate balancing act for Root and Ashley Giles, the director of cricket.

“They need to be considerate about the players’ mental health as they prepare to enter yet another bubble on one of the toughest tours of all. But they also know their only chance of winning in Australia is if everyone is on board.

“That’s why I don’t like these easy judgments from the other side of the world. If the last 18 months have taught us anything, surely it’s the importance of empathy.”