With prevailing uncertainties over the quarantine regulations in Australia and the travel of the players' families, multiple English players have hinted at a pull-out if the quarantine is not relaxed. It is reported that England may send an under-strength squad to Australia to manage players' workload which might have an adverse effect on the integrity of the competition.
Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, has started to intervene and raise the issue with his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison. Johnson met Morrison over dinner on Tuesday during a diplomatic visit to Washington DC. "I raised it [with Morrison] and he said he was going to do his best for the families. He totally got the point that for cricketers it is very tough to ask people to be away from their families over Christmas. He merely undertook to come back and see if he could find a solution," Johnson told reporters in Washington.
However, Morrison revealed there will be no special treatment for the cricketers. "I would love to see the Ashes go ahead, as I shared with Boris last night. But there's no special deals there. I don't see a great deal of difference in skilled workers or students, who will be able to come to Australia when you reach the vaccination rates."
The ECB has been in extensive negotiations with Cricket Australia lately but the host board have their hands tied. While they are under pressure from their broadcasting partners to deliver star-studded Ashes, regulation from the government threaten ECB boycotting the entire tour.