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Just stop whining and get on the plane! A provocative appeal to the players of England from Australia


Just stop whining and get on the plane! A provocative appeal to England’s players from an Australia ravaged by lockdowns and low jab rate

  • It’s free for anyone in the UK to hand out Covid advice to Aussies
  • Quarantine will be resort style, all fees will be paid on the Gold Coast for two weeks
  • New South Wales is about to come out of lockdown and Victoria will follow

It is not uncommon for English cricketers to experience severe bouts of Departure Lounge syndrome during Ashes tours.

It often starts after an initial Test flogging in hot and steamy Brisbane and then drags on through the weeks of a five-Test surf.

The hangdog look, the whining that the beer is too cold and the weather too hot, the pitches too hard and the Kookaburra balls too soft.

Australian captain Tim Paine (right) says the Ashes will continue ‘with or without Joe Root’

But this time, the condition has surfaced long before anyone has left the house. This Departure Lounge Syndrome has manifested itself around having to leave Heathrow, not Sydney.

Boiled down by the England Cricket Board after constant runs and tours of biosecurity bubbles, there has been a flurry of reports of disgruntled players threatening to boycott the Ashes.

The hysteria has been magnified by former captains Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen.

It started with fears that families might not be able to tour and turned to the prospect of two weeks of quarantine after arriving in Australia for the players and their families. This will not be an old quarantine, but a resort style all cost paid two weeks on the Gold Coast, with the option of training.

There were also concerns about the closure of state borders due to the Australian government’s response to Covid, but this did not stop the India Test series from completing as planned last season, when vaccination rates were much lower than today.

Root has declined to commit to this winter's Ashes tour of Australia until details are confirmed

Root has declined to commit to this winter’s Ashes tour of Australia until details are confirmed

The surge in vaccinations after a slow start following a failed federal government rollout is so great that New South Wales is on the brink of breaking out of lockdown and Victoria is expected to follow suit next month.

The cries from England that everything is ‘back to normal’ is not what Australia normally wants.

It is utterly pointless for anyone from the UK to hand out Covid advice to Australians. The UK is heading for 140,000 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test and still an average of 150 per day. Australia has had about 1,300 Covid deaths with a daily average of about a 10th of the UK. Which suggests Australia is a much safer place to hang out than England, despite the deadly snakes, spiders and sharks.

Perhaps everyone in the UK should be more concerned about the fuel shortages caused by Brexit, leaving many of us in Australia musing on that old adage, be careful what you wish for.

Ashes tours are like the Olympics, they only come once every four years.

England players are still waiting for full details of the tour's quarantine conditions Down Under

England players are still waiting for full details of the tour’s quarantine conditions Down Under

For players who are bummed about quarantine, it’s worth remembering that a player of Dean Jones’ quality only made one Ashes tour.

Of England’s current batsmen, only Joe Root and Ben Stokes could be rated above Jones as quality performers and Stokes’ availability remains uncertain following his decision to step out of the game.

The rest couldn’t light a candle for Jones. Do they really want to throw away something that might be a once in a lifetime opportunity that they probably don’t deserve?

It’s been just over a year since the UK went in and out of lockdowns that the ECB ‘begged’ Australia to tour three one-day matches, according to sources at Cricket Australia. According to a senior Cricket Australia source, this was worth £80 million to the ECB.

The same ECB recently pilloried for withdrawing from a mini Twenty20 tour of Pakistan. Imagine the reaction when they withdrew from the Ashes because of some nagging players.

England’s cricketers need to do themselves and the game a favor and get on a plane.



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