Allan Border Unhappy With Australia For Forgoing Warm-ups Matches Ahead Of WTC
By CricShots - May 23, 2023 5:29 pm
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Australia’s decision to forgo warm-up matches ahead of the World Test Championship final against India and the Ashes series has raised concerns from former captain Allan Border. Border believes that the choice is risky and lacks proper preparation. The World Test Championship final is scheduled to take place at The Oval in London from June 7-11. Instead of playing warm-up matches, the Australian team will engage in an intense training camp at Beckenham, which will include practice in a match-like scenario and net sessions.

Nathan Lyon
The Australian team

Allan Border expressed his doubts about the decision, stating, “No matter how hard you work in the nets, nothing can replace actual game time.” He further emphasized that it doesn’t feel right to enter an Ashes series without any cricket under their belts. Border voiced his concerns, saying, “There’s something nagging at me, suggesting that it’s the wrong decision.”

The Indian squad will also skip warm-up matches due to the ongoing English County Championship. Since the World Test Championship is an ICC event, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is not obligated to arrange practice matches for visiting teams.

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In a break from tradition, the Australian team will not play against local county sides before or during this winter’s tour of England. This decision comes after Australia opted for simulation training instead of warm-up games prior to the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year in India, where they ended up losing the series 1-2.

Allan Border
Alan Border

Allan Border expressed surprise at the condensed schedule of the Ashes tour without any cricket between the matches. He acknowledged the influence of T20 leagues like the IPL and the changing landscape of the game but believed that there was an opportunity to play a couple of games in England to fine-tune their skills before the series.

The ECB has compressed the Ashes series into a six-week timeframe to ensure England’s Test players are available for The Hundred event, scheduled to begin in early August.

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While players such as Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, and Marcus Harris have been participating in the County Championship, those in India will join the team in England after completing their IPL commitments. The remaining players of the Australian Test squad recently concluded a three-day training camp in Brisbane and will travel to England later this week.