Jos Buttler insists spending the entire T20 World Cup and an Ashes tour to Australia without his family would cross a red line as England’s players await details of Covid restrictions this winter.
With ECB chairman Ian Watmore conceding there will be doubt over England’s participation in the Ashes series until the team’s departure for Brisbane on November 6, Buttler has joined captain Joe Root in expressing reservations.
The ECB are in the process of reviewing the tour conditions and quarantine rules received from Cricket Australia last Friday amid an ever-changing picture Down Under but the players have yet to be briefed on the situation.
England’s Jos Buttler says he wouldn’t be willing to spend months away from his family if they weren’t allowed to travel to Australia for the Ashes tour
It remains to be seen whether Buttler’s wife Louise and their two young daughters Georgia and Margot will be allowed to tour with him in Australia amid strict Covid rules
It remains far from clear whether players’ families will be able to accompany them on the tour with Australia still grappling with Covid lockdowns.
Buttler – whose wife Louise gave birth to their second daughter, Margot, earlier this month – could face the prospect of several months without seeing his family.
He said: ‘Definitely, for myself if I had to do a World Cup and an Ashes for five months without seeing my family, I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that.’
The schedule is intense for Buttler and England’s other multi-format players. They head out to the United Arab Emirates for the T20 World Cup on Monday with two warm-up games scheduled for October 18 and 20.
Their first Super 12 group match is against West Indies on October 23 and, should they make it, the final of the tournament is on November 14.
Buttler first plays for England in the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates before heading to Australia in early November. The first Ashes Test starts on December 7
By that point, Root and England’s other Test specialists will fly out to Australia on November 4 with Buttler and Co potentially only arriving 10 days later.
The first Test is due to begin at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 7 with the series running until January 18, although the schedule could potentially change.
Buttler added: ‘Hopefully we will get the tour details in the next few days. In the times we’re living in, it could be changeable as well so you want to go out there with as many assurances as possible.
‘I am trying to get as much information as I can, I know it sounds boring saying that, but I can’t really say anything else.’
England captain Joe Root has refused to commit to this winter’s Ashes tour of Australia
England’s players are still awaiting full details of the tour quarantine conditions Down Under
But the wicketkeeper-batsman is desperate to make his mark on an Ashes series Down Under if he agrees to go on the tour.
‘It’s something I’ve not experienced, I haven’t been on an Ashes tour to Australia and it’s certainly something as an England player you want to be a part of,’ Buttler said, speaking at an event at Sixes Cricket Club, where he was unveiled as the official ambassador of Booking.com’s sponsorship of the ICC T20 World Cup.
‘But there’s so much at the minute around it that you’ve got to get right before you can focus on the rest of it.’
With England’s Barmy Army unable to travel to Australia to watch the series, the players can expect a greater level of hostility than usual.
But Buttler believes that will lead to a ‘siege mentality’ in the England camp.
Buttler pictured at Sixes Social Cricket in London for Booking.com ahead of the T20 World Cup
‘The Barmy Army are such an incredible group of supporters and Australia is always one that sticks in my mind of them being very visible at the ground,’ he said.
‘Whether it’s good or bad news on the field, their support is obviously amazing. They’ll be a huge miss.
‘I’ve not been part of an Ashes tour but it’s quite obvious that it’s the most challenging tour as an England team and a player so you want all the support you can get.
‘If that’s the scenario, it is without English fans, then you have to take that kind of siege mentality and use that as a positive to get the best performance.’
England will be without their Barmy Army supporters this winter as they can’t travel to Oz
England captain Root – who himself has two young children – stopped short of committing to the Ashes tour as the players await more information on quarantine conditions in Australia.
‘I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that Ashes cricket and an away tour of Australia is one of those things you’re desperate to be on,’ he said.
‘It could be the last chance I get to go so of course I want to be there. I’m desperate to try to make history over there and be part of something special.
‘It’s hard to make a definite decision until we know what it looks like. Once that information comes through we can have more clarity.
‘It will be important everyone makes a decision they’re comfortable with. There are so many different factors that fall into this and we just have to be patient. When we know what’s happening we can make a decision on the back of it.’
Booking.com is the official accommodation booking partner of the ICC T20 World Cup, which takes place from 17 October – 14 November.