Australian government say they are "flexible and practical" in bid to save Ashes

Australia's health minister Greg Hunt has insisted that the government are "flexible and practical" in a bid to ensure that the Ashes goes ahead this winter.

Cricket Australia have been locked in discussions with the ECB for several months now and a decision will be made about the tour next week, with England 's players concerned about Australia's strict coronavirus protocol.

On Monday, the ECB released a statement which broached the idea of cancelling the series altogether.

It read: "The board will decide whether the conditions are sufficient for the tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance."

In an interview with Sky News Australia, Hunt was asked about the Ashes and replied: "Ultimately, it’s always in the hands of the touring party, but we’ve been working to be flexible and practical.

"On the one hand, make sure that we have safety arrangements for Australia. On the other hand, to be practical and flexible to give that touring party every chance of coming here and to have the Ashes played this summer."

In a statement of their own, Cricket Australia expressed confidence that the series would go ahead, saying they are "buoyed by rising vaccination rates and an evolving approach to the pandemic in Australia".

The statement read: "We have had regular and positive discussions with the ECB over the past six months on providing conditions which will allow players from both teams to perform at their best during the Ashes summer.

"The health and wellbeing of both squads while ensuring the tour proceeds in a safe manner is a priority and we especially thank our government partners for all their support in this regard.

"We are also buoyed by rising vaccination rates and an evolving approach to the pandemic in Australia.

"The anticipated conditions for the tour, including quarantine arrangements have now been communicated to the ECB and directly to the England players and staff."

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