Former captain Nasser Hussain has hit out at Australia for not understanding the seriousness of bio-bubbles and its implications after several members questioned England’s reluctance in traveling Down Under for a five-Test Ashes series.
Due to strict Covid-19 protocols in Australia, England have reservations about touring Australia to play the Ashes, the first Test of which starts December 8 in Brisbane, with Hussain believing England are not entirely wrong if they want no part of it. He also added that it’s not Australia’s place to comment or give advices regarding the same.
“England have played 18 Test matches since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. That’s five more than anyone else – and 14 more than Australia, whose four Tests all came at home against India last winter,” Hussain wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.
“I’m quite proud of the way in which England’s Test team have kept the show on the road in difficult circumstances, moving in and out of bubbles and spending time away from their families. It’s draining. Mental health has suffered. So for people in Australia to start lecturing them, and telling them they should simply suck it up, is a bit rich.”
The ECB announced on Monday that a final call on The Ashes will be taken this week, as speculation continued to grow. Last week, Australia captain Tim Paine had said that the series will go ahead with out without captain Joe Root who has not fully committed to be part of the tour because of the uncertainty regarding arrangements in Australia, and even took a dig at Kevin Pietersen, calling him an ‘expert in everything’. Reacting to this Hussain was not pleased, and criticised the lack of empathy shown by Australia.
“When Tim Paine, Australia’s Test captain, spoke recently I didn’t hear much empathy from a fellow professional. Now others have jumped on the Ashes bandwagon, as if England are somehow trying to dodge an important series,” added Hussain.
“I get all the arguments. Yes, England’s Test players are paid handsomely. Yes, representing your country, particularly in an away Ashes, is the highest honour there is for a professional cricketer. Yes, some of the players have chosen to add to their own burden by taking part in overseas T20 tournaments such as the IPL. Unless you’ve spent time in a bubble – and some of these guys have done it repeatedly – you don’t get to lecture other people on how they should behave.”