ECB confirm the Ashes will go ahead after crunch talks with Cricket Australia

The ECB have officially announced that this winter's Ashes series will go ahead.

In a statement, the ECB said that they have "given its approval for the tour to go ahead", but that it is "subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel."

The organisation held a meeting on Friday where they gave the tour the green light, following doubts over whether the series would even go ahead.

In a statement earlier this week, the ECB suggested that they would be willing to pull the plug on the tour if they were unable to select "a squad befitting a series of this significance".

Now, in a new statement, the ECB announced: "Over recent weeks we have made excellent progress in moving forward on the England Men's Ashes Tour.

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"To facilitate further progress and allow a squad to be selected, The ECB Board has met today and given its approval for the tour to go ahead. This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel.

"We look forward to the ongoing assistance from Cricket Australia in resolving these matters in the coming days."

England are reportedly set to name a full-strength squad over the weekend, after player concerns over Australia 's strict coronavirus protocol have been allayed.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, England captain Joe Root 'will be able to call upon all his fit players' for the series.

The report states that 'those in line for selection are happy with the quarantine regulations and bubble restrictions they will face', with a squad expected to be selected over the weekend.

One of the central issues for a lot of players was whether their families would be able to join them in Australia, with Jos Buttler admitting that he "wouldn't be comfortable" playing in both the T20 World Cup and the Ashes this winter if it meant not being able to see his family.

Buttler, whose wife recently gave birth to their second daughter, said: "For myself, if I had to do a World Cup and an Ashes – four, five months without seeing my family – I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that."

However, his fears appear to have been addressed, with players' families set to enjoy a softer quarantine in a resort in the Yarra Valley region in Victoria.

The length of time is set to be reduced from 14 days to seven as vaccine rates improve throughout the state.

England will be without several important players though, with Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Olly Stone and Sam Curran all injured and Moeen Ali recently retiring from Test cricket.

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