Jos Buttler, England’s vice-captain, has stated once again that he will miss the Ashes tour if his family is unable to accompany him to Australia. Butler will depart for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next week as part of England’s T20 World Cup squad.

However, the wicketkeeper-participation batsmen in the five-Test Ashes series is in jeopardy due to concerns about the severity of the Covid-19 limitations that Joe Root’s team face in Australia. Players in England are still waiting for exact specifics on quarantine, bio bubbles and admission requirements, despite claims that this information will be available this weekend.

In the interim, even Test captain Root has been reluctant to commit fully to one of the most important events on the world cricket calendar, the tour of Australia. Buttler, who has recently become a father for the second time, wants to gather as much information as possible before committing to the trip.

However, when asked if an Ashes series in which his family was unable to accompany him for even a portion of the tour was a red line, the 31-year-old replied, “Yes, for myself, without a doubt, I wouldn’t be comfortable playing a World Cup and an Ashes tour for four or five months without seeing my family. We’re still waiting for additional information, as soon as possible. Hopefully, additional information will be available in the coming days. It’s much easier to know what decision you’re making once you have that.”

Meanwhile, ECB chairman Ian Watmore said he expects more twists and turns ahead of the Ashes opening on December 8 in Brisbane. “Apart from when the jet gets to Australia,” Watmore told the Daily Mail, “There is no easy date it must be settled by.”

“There are issues that CA must resolve with its government, as well as issues that the federal government must resolve with state governments. We’re working hard to create an atmosphere where our players and their families want to come and give their all. If Australia can do that, that’s fantastic; if not, we’ll have to have more difficult discussions.”