England holds crisis talks with Cricket Australia over new Omicron Covid variation that threatens to disrupt the winter Ashes series. This is due to changes to travel rules. The fifth Test at Perth has only a ’50/50″ chance of proceeding.

  • Omicron, a brand new Covid strain that has caused havoc, is now causing chaos.
  • There are concerns about Ashes Series and travel plans.
  • England has held crisis talks about its concerns with Cricket Australia
  • It may be more difficult for families of players to travel around Australia. 
  • A ’50/50″ chance exists that the Perth Test will go ahead, which is scheduled for January 14. 

As fears rose that the new Covid variant might disrupt the Ashes, England held crisis talks Saturday night with Cricket Australia.

Ashley Giles, England’s managing director admitted that there were concerns in the camp about the Omicron variant affecting players families as they travel to Australia.

Giles, a guest at a Brisbane hotel from England on Saturday said that although it was early in the process, they are beginning to have that conversation. 

“There will be some changes in border controls regarding our family’s ability to travel, and we hope it doesn’t affect us. However, we remain in the control of both national and regional governments.

Joe Root's England side were already concerned about Covid protocols before this variant

Joe Root and the England side were concerned about Covid protocols long before the variant was released. 

Australia’s brutal response to Covid raised initial doubts about the viability this year’s Ashes. England’s players expressed concerns that they and their families would have to go through 14 days of hard quarantine in Queensland before the tour began.

Several Australian states now have new restrictions. Two passengers from Qatar arrived in Sydney Saturday night to test positive.

Giles said that he knew everything could turn around. While we had hoped that the series would be positive, Giles said, “I think we were hoping things would change positively.” However, we know from experience with variants over the years that negative things could happen.

Ben Stokes and Co may have to deal with changes to venues and the situation is evolving

Ben Stokes and Co might have to adjust to changes in venues and changing situations. 

England are preparing for a huge challenge against Australia away from home

Australia will be a formidable opponent for England away from their home.

“Can we prepare ourselves for anything?” This is not possible due to the large moving parts and regulations in each state.

“We will do our best to accommodate the families, and make sure that all the players have a great time.”

The England spokesperson stated it was too soon to know if any Ashes venues might change, however, Sportsmail has reported that there are less chances than ever of the last Test taking place at Perth in Western Australia. This country is known for having a strict Covid policy.

Christina Matthews, chief executive of Western Australia Cricket Association described Perth’s chances as being a success at ’50/50.

She told ABC Radio that she would probably state at this moment, 50/50. “I had gone up to 97 percent, but now I am back at 50/50.” We’ll see.

For the Test in Perth to proceed, Western Australia’s state government will need to ease some restrictions.

Matthews explained, “It’s about whether cricket is capable of meeting those requirements or not.”

“One of the problems for cricket is the very high technology required around broadcasting and the large number of people needed to do so, compared with an AFL broadcast (Australian Football League).

Some Australian states have already started to bring in new draconian restrictions

Some Australian states already have new, more severe restrictions 

“It is one thing to get players (but it’s another to get people who need broadcasting.

Now, it looks like the match in January will switch to a day-night affair. A second game is also possible in Melbourne. Melbourne currently hosts only the Boxing Day test.

England players that played in the Twenty20 World Cup will be joining the rest in Brisbane today ahead of their last intra-squad warmup with the Lions. 

On December 8, the Gabba will host the first test.