No family, no Ashes tour for England’s Buttler
Jos Buttler (Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
England vice-captain Jos Buttler has insisted again he will miss the upcoming Ashes tour if his family are unable to join him in Australia.
Buttler will fly out to the United Arab Emirates next week as a member of England’s squad for the T20 World Cup.
But whether the wicketkeeper-batsman also features in the five-Test Ashes series is open to doubt amid questions over the severity of Covid-19 restrictions confronting Joe Root’s men in Australia.
England players are still awaiting specific details about quarantine, bubble and entry regulations, although there are reports that information will be available this weekend.
But in the meantime, even Test skipper Root has been unable to commit fully to touring Australia for one of the showpiece events in the global cricket calendar.
Buttler, having just become a father for the second time, wants to know as many details as possible before making himself available for the tour.
But asked Wednesday if an Ashes series where his family were unable to join him for even part of the tour represented a red line, the 31-year-old replied: “Yes, definitely for myself. If I had to do a World Cup and an Ashes — four, five months without seeing my family — I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that.”
“We’re still waiting for more information, as soon as possible,” he said when speaking at Sixes Cricket Club, where he was unveiled as the official ambassador of Booking.com’s sponsorship of the T20 World Cup.
“Hopefully in the next few days there’ll be more information. As soon as you get that it makes it easier to know what decision you’re making.”
Buttler, yet to play in an overseas Ashes, added: “The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and Cricket Australia will be working very hard together to make it as good as possible.
“It’s tough to make a decision when you don’t have all the answers. In Covid times, there is always going to be some sort of question that is difficult to answer.
“It could be changeable, it would be naive not to say so in the times we’re living in, but you want to go there with as many assurances as possible.”
Meanwhile, ECB chairman Ian Watmore said he was prepared for more twists and turns ahead of the scheduled Ashes opener in Brisbane on December 8.
“There is no simple date it must be decided by, apart from when that plane goes to Australia,” Watmore told the Daily Mail.
“There are issues for CA to sort out with their government and for the federal government to sort out with state governments.
“We’re working hard to provide an environment in which our players and their families want to go and perform to their best. If Australia can deliver that, great, if not we may have to have more challenging discussions.”