Tim Paine slammed over Ashes call: Cricket news 2021, Kevin Pietersen sledge
Tim Paine has been hammered by England fans who took offence to comments the Aussie Test captain made about this summer’s Ashes.
England cricket fans have blasted Tim Paine after the Australian Test captain’s blunt declaration about the Ashes this week.
This summer’s series is clouded in uncertainty because some within the England camp have voiced concerns about travelling Down Under for a lengthy stay and dealing with strict quarantine regulations — especially if their families are not allowed to join them.
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Former England star Kevin Pietersen reflected the view held by some when he tweeted: “There is NO WAY I would go to The Ashes this winter. ZERO chance! Unless, the ridiculous quarantine rules were squashed and my family could travel with zero restrictions.”
“The Ashes are going ahead. The First Test is on December 8th — whether Joe (Root, England captain) is here or not. They all want to come, there’s no doubt about that,” Paine said on his SEN Hobart radio show on Friday.
“It’ll be worked out above us and then they’ll have a choice whether to get on that plane or not.
“No one is forcing any England player to come. That’s the beauty of the world we live in — you have a choice. If you don’t want to come, don’t come.
“If you do want to come and represent your country and play in an Ashes series which Joe Root said ‘that’s what they all want to do, that’s what they dream about doing’ then come and do it. Kevin (Pietersen), mate, leave it to the players. Let them speak.”
Pietersen and Paine later traded comments on Twitter.
But the Aussie wicketkeeper’s comments have gone down like a lead balloon in England. Cricket writer Chris Stocks said The Guardian’s Barney Ronay hit the “nail on the head” with a piece condemning Paine’s take on the situation.
“Certainly there is something galling about the spectacle of Australia’s captain mind-gaming out at the world from within his own sealed borders,” Ronay wrote.
“The UK has suffered 130,000 Covid deaths. People have struggled horribly, have stared this plague in the face for the last 18 months. The cricketers have played on through all this. So spare us the s**t-talk please, Tim Paine.”
Former first-class cricketer Fabian Cowdrey tweeted: “Tim Paine doesn’t decide whether England travel for the Ashes … Unless he has landed himself a job with the ECB, he can keep quiet. Aussie Captain or not, he has a pretty average attitude.
“Also what’s he doing having a pop at @KP24! KP has been bang on about England and their rights for this tour.”
Sportswriter Oliver Brown called out Paine’s hypocrisy by referencing the fact Australia hasn’t played an away Test series since the 2019 Ashes.
“Lovely to hear the views on this delicate issue from Tim Paine, captain of an Australia team that has not played a Test series away for over two years,” Brown tweeted.
Journalist Elizabeth Ammon wrote: “I see Tim Paine is nailing the art of empathy towards his fellow professional cricketers. Pillock.”
Sports reporter Chetan Narula also weighed in. “Nice of Tim Paine to mouth off again. Since the onset of this Covid pandemic, Australia haven’t toured away for a single Test series. Any LOI tours were undertaken by their B-teams,” he said.
“The last thing you want is a lack of empathy for your fellow cricketers at present. Bubble fatigue is a reality of our times.”
Cricket writer Dave Tickner — with tongue in cheek — suggested Paine was “leaning fully into being the massive pr**k that he is” rather than messing around “with all that nauseating and hypocritical good guy bulls***”.
Australia has gone on ODI and T20 tours overseas during the pandemic but, most recently against the West Indies and Bangladesh, travelled with severely under-strength squads as the country’s biggest stars were either rested or chose to sit out.
Meanwhile, in 2021 England has played Test series in Sri Lanka and India before hosting New Zealand and India at home.
Joe Root’s side has already played 12 Tests this year ahead of the Ashes, which present a gruelling five-Test challenge kicking off in December.