Stuart Broad sends clear message to England teammates amid Ashes tour concerns

Stuart Broad has told his England teammates that he would fully back their decisions if they decided to pull out of this winter’s Ashes tour amid fears over covid-19 restrictions in Australia.

Broad, who missed the majority of England’s most recent Test series against India due to injury, also confirmed that he would be willing to travel to Australia without his family who will remain in the UK, regardless of the rules. 

Recent reports have suggested that several of England’s senior players are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of information about the tour and whether they would be allowed to take their families with them amid the strict measures currently in place across many Australian states. 

While Broad insists that he will be part of the tour, he can understand why some players, who are taking part in the IPL, T20 World Cup and the Ashes, would struggle to be without their families for four months, should they not be allowed to travel with them Down Under. 

‘If you ask me if I would be happy to get on a plane to Australia in November, I would say yes. I am working tirelessly to get there. I don’t feel there will be a postponement. In my mind, it is 100 per cent clear that an England team of some description will embark on the tour,’ he told the Daily Mail.

‘But if another player called me and told me they couldn’t commit, I would totally accept it.

‘Everyone has to make their own decision and Ashley Giles, England’s director of cricket, has made it clear a player’s chances of selection in the future will not be harmed if they opt out in these circumstances.

‘The ECB have tried to keep us as informed as possible with the information that they are getting from Cricket Australia. It’s just that minimal detail has been available. I don’t think anyone can say hand on heart that we won’t be living in a bubble out there and that will be extremely challenging.’

He added: ‘Personally, because my fiancee Mollie [King] works, I am already resigned to the fact that she cannot be with me at any point — because by the time she has completed two weeks of quarantine she will have to be back on the radio.

‘But I am in a fortunate position because Mollie is extremely understanding regarding my job, we don’t have children, and I am 35 so these opportunities won’t come around too often. 

‘That’s why I am committed to going. It’s a very different scenario if you are away from the start of the Indian Premier League this weekend or if you have kids.

‘We have seen the pressures of being away from home for a long period of time most recently with India returning zero positive Covid tests within their group but still feeling anxious enough to not play a Test match. I get that.’

Elsewhere, Jos Buttler, who is expected to be named in both the T20 World Cup squad and the Ashes team, has admitted that he may pull out of the tour Down Under if his wife and newborn baby are unable to go with him.

‘Covid-19 is challenging for everyone and Australia has had a very strict policy in how they are dealing with it,’ he said.

‘And an added complication is how long we’ve been living in bio-secure bubbles. Even playing cricket in England is almost like being on tour.

‘I’ve sacrificed a lot for cricket and my wife and family have sacrificed a lot. You have to be open to saying no.’

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