In the current era of cricket, the trend of playing tour matches has reduced. The Australian team is also on the same path. She too will face the challenge of Ashes without playing any tour matches. This will be the first time that Australia will not play an opposition county team to prepare for the Ashes. The Australian team will tour England in June- July for a five- match Ashes series. The first Test will be played in Birmingham from 16 June.
Australia will play golf in Merseyside
Instead of playing a county team, Australia will play golf in Merseyside for the World Test Championship final and warm- up for the Ashes. After this the team will take part in the training camp at the Kent ground in Backenhem.
“We’ve seen teams go there before and spend a lot of energy at the front end … hopefully it pays dividends at the back end, not expend too much energy early.” said McDonald.
It is becoming increasingly rare for an Australian team to play a formal tour match against an opponent prior to an overseas tour. During the 2019 Ashes, he hosted an international match at the Ageas Bowl during the camp. This year also he did not play any tour match on the tour of India. In 2022, the team landed on the tour of Pakistan without a tour match. This time Australia’s tour of England will be completely different from all previous tours, when the Australian team played several county teams in England before and in between the Tests.
In 1948, under the captaincy of Donald Bradman, Australia played 12 tour matches on the Ashes tour, winning 10 of them. Australia played matches against Kent and Essex before the opening Test in 2015. Later on the tour also played tour matches against Derbyshire and northamptonshire. Darren Lehmann, who was Australia’s coach on that tour, is disappointed at the absence of tour matches this year. He said, ‘Tour matches are needed to adapt to the environment there. Not having tour matches is not a good idea. If the strategy of not playing tour matches fails, then questions will be raised on this decision. However, a number of Australians, including leading batsmen Labuschagne and Steve Smith, are returning to county cricket to acclimatise to the English environment playing cricket.
England players will also enter; Stuart Broad preparation for Ashes.
Some of England players will also enter the Test unprepared. Joe Root and Harry Brook will return from the IPL just a week before the Test against Ireland from June 1. However, England captain Ben Stokes has confirmed that he will be back before the knockout rounds of the IPL. He is a part of Chennai Super Kings. Stokes has missed many IPL matches due to injury. Meanwhile, England fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad are playing for the county teams in preparation for the Ashes.