England stars ‘considering collective decision to boycott Ashes’

England could reportedly take a collective decision to boycott the Ashes this winter after they were left 'underwhelmed' by the ECB, following a meeting about their concerns over the tour.

Australia has some of the most strict coronavirus protocol in the world and there have recently been localised lockdowns and border closures in Melbourne and Sydney, two cities which are set to host Ashes Tests.

Cricket Australia has also decided to move the opening two weeks of the Women's Big Bash League to Tasmania as a result of the outbreaks in Melbourne and Sydney, with four of the eight teams based in those cities.

That news will do little to allay the fears of England's players, who are still awaiting specific details of what the tour will involve.

One of the biggest sticking points remains the 14-day 'hard' quarantine, which is currently a requirement to enter Australia.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the players are concerned about the prospect of putting their families through it, but those likely to be involved in the T20 World Cup and the Ashes do not want to spend up to four months without seeing their loved ones.

During the meeting, the players are said to have asked the ECB to broach the idea of a partial or full postponement of the series with Cricket Australia.

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However, the ECB were 'reluctant' to even consider that idea, with the report stating that the players are now considering their options.

One of those options is said to be a collective boycott, with some players reportedly of the opinion that 'their concerns are not being appreciated by the authorities'.

The report does note it is unlikely that the entire team and backroom staff will boycott the tour, with it instead more likely that several players will choose not to go.

James Anderson has already stated that his family will not travel to Australia because of the 14-day quarantine rule.

In his column for the Daily Telegraph, Anderson revealed: "My family have already said they are not going to Australia.

"My kids are in school, the youngest has exams and there is no way they can do two weeks quarantine because by the time they come out I will be playing a Test match and might only see them for a few days before they have to go back for the start of term.

"I have got my head around that but I only play one format so it is easier for me. The India tour earlier this year was a couple of months and the Australia trip will be similar. It is fine, I can manage that. The bigger issue is for guys playing every format. They need some clarity."

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