The final set of preparations is underway in England and Australian camps as Women’s Ashes start just 5 days from now.
While the English team has already reached Australia, the Aussies have also started assembling for the preparation camp and the full 15-member main squad, as well as the ‘A’ squad, is expected to gather by January 17, just three days before the rivalry gets underway with the first of three T20Is at the Adelaide Oval.
Following a strict notice released last week which states that in case a player tests positive for Covid-19 during the Ashes, they would NOT be allowed to be a part of the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup squad, the players have been extra vigilant as obviously, no one wants to miss the opportunity of representing the country in a World Cup. However, to have a backup prepared in case the virus hits the Ashes, Australia’s team management has asked the players from the ‘A’ team that would be staying separately from the main one to be prepared for a call-up. The notice further mentioned that late additions to the World Cup squad wouldn’t be allowed adhering to the mandatory Quarantine protocols by the World Cup host New Zealand.
As reported by cricket.com.au, the players have taken different modes of transport to travel to Adelaide in order to avoid any distressing situation. They would remain in self-isolation most of the time but will be allowed to use the outdoor gym in pairs with different roles and train in the nets. However, since Sydney and Melbourne have been recording a high number of cases, once the players from these cities join the team, the restrictions on the players would be more strict.
Sharing her thoughts on the restrictions in place and the warning by the board, Spinner Jess Jonassen told cricket.com.au that,
“There’s no such thing as an ideal thing in the current climate of Omicron… but I’d rather make sure that everyone’s safety is looked after and that we get to play a full series than risk anything, so it is what it is,”
It’s things like whenever we’re outside of our own hotel room, making sure we have a mask on, following all the normal government rules, and then for us it’s also making sure like if we do go out somewhere as a group in terms – to go get a takeaway coffee, for example – that you only go in groups of three or whatnot.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) January 14, 2022
With the Ashes, both the teams would begin a hectic schedule as they get into the World Cup bubble as soon as the competition gets over on February 8 and won’t be returning home until early April.
Earlier this week, during the squad announcement Australian captain Meg Lanning shared the fear Covid-19 has brought to every individual in the camp. She said,
“Heading into this bubble the risk of catching COVID is significantly increased than what it perhaps was even six months ago,”
“That is a slight difference heading into this series and that World Cup on the back end is something everyone wants to be a part of and certainly doesn’t want to miss.
“There is, I guess, that little bit of nervousness but having chatted to the medical staff and all the support staff they are putting everything in place that’s possible to keep the bubble very secure and minimize the risk of getting COVID.
“I’m very confident that everything is in place that needs to be and hopefully everyone can stay safe,” the leading Ashes T20I run-scorer added.
Meanwhile, yesterday Covid-19 did hit the English camp as one of the members of their support staff tested positive. However, thankfully the others in the group are safe as of now.
Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.