I have written previously about my worries about Australia’s poor preparation for the upcoming Ashes tour in Australia. Wedged between the current short form series in England, ending on 16 September 2013, and the first ball of the first Ashes test at the Gabba in 78 days time are both the Champions League T20 in India and then an Australia ODI series against India in India. Those two tournaments will have Australian players involved and, if said players are involved in both tournaments, those players will only 19 days (not including travelling time) to prepare for the first test.
For those wondering, the following players who are projected to be involved in the Indian ODI tour have also been included in various squads for the Champions Trophy T20:
Two of those players, Faulkner and Watson, played in the last test match of the Ashes tour in England and project to be a part of the squad for the first test match at the Gabba. Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh must be in the frame for the current vacant number 6 spot in the Australia test batting order. The other three players must also, particularly Nathan Coulter-Nile, must also form part of calculations for any broader test match squad. Yet there is a distinct possibility that they will have, at most, one game of first class cricket in Australia before the first test.
Add to this the aegis of Ashton Agar representing the Perth Scorchers in the Champions Trophy T20 and Australia’s principal test spinner only some 3 test matches ago could also find himself without first class cricket before the first test match.
I know I am becoming a broken record on this but surely the focus of Cricket Australia has to be a winning the Ashes where it patently is not. As matters presently stand though that preparation is looking like it will border on the farcical rather than the complete.
A final point: before you start on me that it is the same for all teams you should bear in mind that whilst Australia’s players are playing in the CLT20 and an ODI tournament it ought be noted that:
1. There is no English team partaking of the CLT20
2. There is no English player similarly partaking of the CLT20
3. The last round of the English country season takes between 24 September 2013 and 27 September 2013 and England’s test players are likely to play in that round of fixtures
4. England play in 3 first class games against Australian opposition before the first test at the Gabba
This is all starting look a little like England are going to be the better prepared unit for the coming Ashes series in Australia despite it being held in Australia’s back yard. Cricket Australia’s chase for cash wins again!