As the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Sunday (October 10) announced a strong squad for the upcoming Ashes 2021-22 in Australia this winter, England head coach Chris Silverwood has showered rich praise on captain Joe Root’s influence on the national team as a leader.
For several months, there were a lot of concerns over the fate of the upcoming Ashes series, especially due to Australia’s tough COVID-19 quarantine rules for tourists and their families, with many England players, including Jos Buttler, hinting at pulling out of the Test tour later this year.
However, the ECB and Cricket Australia (CA) have settled everything as the Ashes 2021-22 will take place as planned from December 8 in Brisbane, and England also announced a 17-man squad for the Ashes on Sunday, with Silverwood insisting there were no objectors or opt-outs from the list.
He further said Root’s leadership played a key role in selecting the strongest possible squad for the Australia tour for the Ashes, saying the “classy” Test skipper’s compassionate and diplomatic approach helped England convince the players for the tour eventually.
Who will be our most important players as we try to win back the urn this winter? 🏴🏏 pic.twitter.com/6xYzVWlAc3
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) October 10, 2021
Silverwood stated: “There were a lot of negotiations that went on and one thing we did see was a lot of class from our captain. He really did lead from the front. I can’t emphasize enough how classy he was within those negotiations and the way he listened to both sides of the argument.”
The coach added, “He showed a lot of empathy and a lot of really good leadership skills to get the players to this point. His players have got behind him and will follow him, so will I and my staff. What it has done, I think, is galvanize his position as a leader. All the boys have recognized that, all my staff has recognized that and it has made us all pull in behind him.”
With some suggesting Ben Stokes join the England squad in Australia as late arrival, Silverwood refused to give any indication regarding the same, as the all-rounder remains on an indefinite break from cricket.
He signed off by saying, “There will be no pressure from me for him to rush back. When Ben is ready, he’ll give me a call, and then we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. My first intent is to make sure he’s OK from a well-being point of view.”