Australian Test captain Tim Paine has hit back at England great Kevin Pietersen, telling him to “leave it to the players” regarding their positions on playing in this summer’s Ashes series.
It comes after Pietersen took to Twitter this week to take aim at Australia’s “ridiculous quarantine rules” as doubts linger over England’s involvement in the five-Test series.
“He (Pietersen) is an expert on everything, there is no doubt about that,” Paine jokingly said on SEN Hobart’s Jack and Painey.
“If anyone is talking to Kevin, no one is forcing you to come, no one is forcing any England player to come.
“That is the beauty of the world we live in, you have a choice – if you don’t want to come, don’t come.
“‘Kev’ mate, leave it to the players, let them speak. We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming.
“I think it’s been beat up and people like Kevin like to get themselves a little bit of exposure in the media whenever they can.”
There is NO WAY I would go to The Ashes this winter.— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) September 27, 2021
Unless, the ridiculous quarantine rules were squashed and my family could travel with zero restrictions.
Players are now done with bubbles!
England captain Joe Root said he was “desperate” to play in the Ashes, but was waiting on more clarity surrounding quarantine rules before committing to tour Australia.
“It’s so hard to make a definite decision until you know,” Root said.
“That’s why it’s so important to get all of the information. We are all desperate to be a part of an Ashes series.
“From a player’s point of view, we just want to know what the position is. Hopefully we can get some clarity on everything.”
Paine is adamant the Ashes will go ahead regardless of what players board the flight to Australia from England.
“Well, the Ashes are going ahead – the first Test is on December 8 whether Joe’s here or not,” Paine said.
“They all want to come, there’s no doubt about it. They’re trying to get themselves the best possible conditions they can, but at the end of the day, we all are.
“It will be worked out as we’ve said many times above us, and then they’ll make a decision whether or not they’ll get on that plane.
“There will be a squad of England players coming here for the first Test on December 8th.”