England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison has revealed that he has written to Cricket Australia (CA) in a bid to allow England players to take part in Australia’s domestic red-ball competition, the Sheffield Shield.
Following England’s Ashes debacle, questions have been raised over the Three Lions’ ability to produce good Test batters. They have focused far too much on white-ball cricket and as a result, have fallen behind in terms of red-ball cricket.
“The reality is we need to be spending a lot more time with players in Australian conditions. I’ve had a number of conversations with Cricket Australia and have written formally to Cricket Australia to ask if they would consider allowing us to put players into Sheffield Shield cricket, for example, as one significant change that we can bring to bear,” Harrison told BBC’s Test Match Special.
The pandemic has forced a few plans to be cancelled – Tom Harrison
Tom Harrison went on to mention that England’s preparation coming into the Ashes was quite poor due to the cancellation of a few plans due to the rising pandemic. They had to arrive and enter quarantine for more than a week before beginning their training sessions.
“We’ve had to cancel a lot of individual player preparation plans – which would have involved time in Australia – due to the [Covid-19] pandemic, because effectively, Australia has been closed, and a number of other tours that were planned to enable us to get in better shape for this tour have had to be shelved,” Harrison added.
Joe Root and co. lost the first three matches before managing to salvage a draw in the fourth Test at the SCG.