While more than three weeks are still left for the Ashes series to begin, the mindgames have started between the players of England and Australia. Stuart Broad had stated that he doesn't count his team's last visit down under for Ashes due to COVID restrictions that were in place in the country. The restrictions hindered the players from socialising and practicing like they normally do and that, according to Broad, diminished the enthusiasm. However, Mitchell Starc feels the England pacer is just trying to use the team's 4-0 loss as an excuse and that England players got all the leverages on the tour.
"Nothing was harsher than the last Ashes series. But in my mind, I don’t class that as a real Ashes. Nothing about that series was high-level performance because of the COVID restrictions. The training facilities, the travel, not being able to socialize. I’ve written it off as a void series," Broad said according to Daily Mail.
Responding to this Starc reminded Broad that they were allowed to play even Golf on the tour even as the players' families were also allowed. "The funniest thing out of that was they called it quarantine on the Gold Coast. I did seven of them. That was the easiest by a country mile. The Poms had the pool, the gym, they were in a resort on the Gold Coast, they trained at Metricon (now Heritage Bank Stadium), weren’t confined to their rooms and had their families there.
"Was that really quarantine? They were still allowed to play golf on tour. Is that an excuse for 4-0? Dunno. It was a pretty good series to be a part of," Starc said while speaking to the Sydney Morning herald. Meanwhile, Australia are currently gearing up for the WTC Final against India that is scheduled to be played from June 7 at The Oval in London. The Ashes series is set to commence on June 6 in Birmingham.