Ashes bubble ‘would be my worst NIGHTMARE’ says Matthew Hoggard as the former England seamer sympathises with Joe Root and Co for being reluctant to go on Australia tour
- England are battling against a reluctance from some players to go to the Ashes
- With proposals to use an Ashes bubble, some in the team are apprehensive
- Ex-England ace Matthew Hoggard said a bubble would be his ‘worst nightmare’
- The former seamer said ‘it would do my nut in’ to be ‘locked up 24-7’ at the Ashes
Matthew Hoggard reckons being asked to live in an Ashes bubble would be his ‘worst nightmare’ – and understands why some players remain reluctant to tour Australia this winter.
As the current England team continued to work through the proposed details of the 11-week trip, former seamer Hoggard, who went on 12 Test tours in a career of 67 caps, said: ‘I am in no position to comment about how players are feeling in lockdown because I haven’t been in a bio-bubble. But to be locked up 24-7 with the same people daily, it would do my nut in, to be honest. It’d be my worst nightmare.’
Of his own experiences overseas, he continued: ‘I hate people. I am an introvert, and being an introvert you need time by yourself. Then, once I’ve re-charged, I need people to have fun with.
Former England seamer Matthew Hoggard (left) has sympathised with the dilemma facing Joe Root (right) and England’s players over plans to host the Ashes in Australia inside a ‘bubble’
Hoggard said that playing the prestigious series in a bubble would be his ‘worst nightmare’
‘There were times when I wanted my own company, so I would stay in my hotel room and take my imaginary dog for a walk in the fields back home – because I’d had enough of the people I was with.
‘If you can’t get away from the 18-24 you are on tour with – see them for breakfast, lunch and tea, then go to training with them – no matter how much you like them, it’s going to grate.
‘So I can understand why players would be reluctant to spend three to four months in the same hotels, locked away, not allowed to go out and be normal.
‘Then throw in the family situation – young kids, having to isolate.
Both Jos Buttler (front) and Root (back) have stopped short of fully committing to the tour
‘Even in a nice suite, if you have two or three children and are not able to go out for several days: aaarrgghh. That would be hard work. So I understand why some players might not want to go. No wonder they’re apprehensive.’
However, the 44-year-old Yorkshireman was not impressed when a Twenty20 tour of two matches was called off last month.
‘I am not sure whether it was right to say ‘mental health’ or ‘players’ welfare’ for four days away in Pakistan. That can’t have been the reason not to go, there must have been underlying reasons.
‘They couldn’t say security obviously, because the government had told them it was fine to go.
‘Pakistan came to us when it was Covid and full lockdown, and we couldn’t spend four days travelling? That doesn’t sit right with me. The players would spend that away from the family on a long weekend down in Devon.’
The England squad have been given a presentation on what to expect in Australia for the Ashes