Time to commit to Ashes tour: Vaughan

Former skipper Michael Vaughan has urged England players to commit to the Ashes tour of Australia.
Former skipper Michael Vaughan has urged England players to commit to the Ashes tour of Australia.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has urged Joe Root's side to commit to touring Australia, arguing they have a chance to record the "greatest" Ashes series win ever.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is expected to press its Test players this week, wanting a final answer regarding their availability for the five-Test series.

English stars, weary after playing more cricket in the COVID-19 era than any other side, have raised concerns about several issues regarding this summer.

Root and teammates have seemingly accepted their freedom will be curbed in quarantine but are worried about the prospect of further mid-series restrictions, as was the case when India visited last summer.

"I understand why they must be fed up with all the hassle ... but we are in unprecedented times. Occasionally in life you have to do things you do not want to do," Vaughan wrote in his column for English newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

"The only way England have a chance of beating Australia is if everyone commits early. We cannot have players going to the Twenty20 World Cup and then playing two or three Ashes Tests and going home.

"England must be able to get a group of players together who are ready to go through 10 tough weeks.

"After all they have been through, this could go down as the greatest Ashes victory.

"It must be enticing to think you could be remembered forever as the group who went to Australia, quarantined, spent weeks away from your family but won the Ashes back against the odds."

Vaughan added "if Test cricket really is the pinnacle, then show us".

"Make the sacrifice this northern hemisphere winter and go to Australia," he wrote.

It shapes as a particularly long tour for multi-format players, who will travel to the UAE for the Twenty20 World Cup prior to landing in Australia for the Test series slated to begin in Brisbane on December 8.

Injured express paceman Jofra Archer, who had a memorable duel with Steve Smith while making his Test debut at Lord's in 2019, is one star who will miss the Ashes.

Ben Stokes, who is sitting out the T20 World Cup as he continues an indefinite mental-health break, is considered an unlikely starter.

Veteran fast bowler Stuart Broad has declared he will be part of the tour but understood if teammates opted out.

Australian Associated Press