• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Ashes diary: Covid hits women’s series, Labuschagne sees funny side, England’s curfew dash

·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Joe Root
    Joe Root
    English cricketer (born 1990)
  • Ben Stokes
    Ben Stokes
    Cricketer (born 1991)

Bad news for England Women ahead of the Ashes later this month. A member of their support staff has tested positive for Covid-19 at the team’s base in Canberra.

The unnamed individual is isolating, and will not travel with the team to Adelaide where the first leg of the multi-format series – three t20s – take place next week. An extra round of testing was brought in, with all players negative.

Decision time

England’s players believe they have a few more days to decide whether to go into the IPL mega-auction. The deadline was thought to be later this week but those, like Joe Root, weighing up whether to bother entering now have until next week.

It seems likely that most Test players will not go into the auction, but Ollie Pope’s name will be in the draw, although being picked up seems a very long shot.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Like a kid at Christmas

Graham Thorpe was so taken by Marnus Labuschagne’s vintage Kookaburra Bubble bat, that Jos Buttler arranged for his sponsor to send one to the England changing room in Sydney last week.

Thorpe batted with a similar stick back in the day, and is now using his new one to help England’s batters practice their slip catching.

Curfew dash

On the last Ashes tour down under, in the aftermath of Ben Stokes in Bristol and with incidents involving Jonny Bairstow and Ben Duckett in Perth, England introduced a midnight curfew.

It has remained in place since Ashley Giles replaced Andrew Strauss as Director of Cricket, and has generally been fairly well observed, but will be strained this week: thanks to the rain delay that started the day, play was due to continue until 11pm. With warm downs, media obligations and a 15-minute journey back to the hotel, perhaps only the evening rain saved them.

Root gets upstairs backing

ECB CEO Tom Harrison told Joe Root immediately after the defeat in Melbourne – which sealed Australia’s series win – that he wants him to remain as captain for the foreseeable future. Harrison has now gone public with that sentiment.

“I think Joe’s been a fantastic leader through this very difficult time,” he said. “I’ve had lots of conversations with him and I for one hope that Joe continues to be our captain for the foreseeable future.

“I think he’s demonstrated that he’s able to perform whilst holding the office. And I think this has been a very, very difficult tour.

“But I think they’ve got an opportunity today to do something we haven’t done in Australia for 10 years, which is win a test match and come home with some positivity around the test environment.

“It’s a big challenge, but it has been a very difficult tour for anyone in a leadership position, whether that’s Joe, whether that’s Chris Silverwood, whether it’s Ashley or myself.

“It’s been very challenging and for a number of different reasons, not just around how we’ve gone on the park.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Time travellers

Stuart Broad revealed on his and Ben Stokes’ podcast (Round The Wicket) that on the flight over to Tasmania, David Warner offered a few words of advice to England’s players on setting into Hobart life: “Set your watches, lads – back to 1998!”

Boon’s back

Travis Head was not the only individual to return from a Covid break in Hobart. David Boon, the Match Referee, was back as well – and quite right too. The 61-year-old Aussie legend is a proud Tasmanian, and Bellerive Oval has honoured him in plenty of different ways, including a stand, a statue, and a large painting.

Ricky Ponting, another favourite son (and another man from Launceston, not Hobart) is similarly decorated but has not made it across the Bass Strait because Channel 7 are commentating from the mainland.

How’d you go today?

Marnus Labuschagne looked in sensational form before tangling himself up to Stuart Broad. Labuschagne, ravenous for runs, will have been desperately disappointed, but by the end of the day he could see the funny side.

Marnus Labuschagne after being bowled by Stuart Broad (Getty Images)
Marnus Labuschagne after being bowled by Stuart Broad (Getty Images)

The ICC’s No1 Test batter posted a picture of him being bowled on Instagram with the accompanying caption:

“How’d you go today?”

“Yeah, just got a good one”.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting