Australia’s Ashes practice match is ‘extremely unlikely’ to go ahead, as southeast Queensland continues to report miserable weather.
It is “extremely unlikely” Australia will have the chance to play its Ashes practice match this week as planned but Cricket Australia insists the side won’t go into the first Test at the Gabba underdone.
The Australia and Australia A squads had been due to face off in a three-day practice match from Wednesday, but a CA spokesman confirmed on Monday evening that wet weather in southeast Queensland had put the fixture in serious jeopardy.
Sport’s greatest rivalry is just around the corner and you can catch the Ashes live and ad-break free during play. New to Kayo? Start your free trial today >
The likely cancellation of the match means selectors will miss their only chance to see the squad’s repatriated T20 World Cup players – including Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and new captain Pat Cummins – playing in a fully fledged red-ball game setting before the Ashes begin on December 8. All five are locks for selection in the first Test at the Gabba, but none have played red-ball cricket since last summer’s Sheffield Shield season.
However, CA remains confident in the preparation of its key squad members, with a source telling NCA NewsWire that players in the Gold Coast training hub had had four three-hour centre wicket sessions in the past seven days despite the challenging weather.
A CA spokesman confirmed on Monday evening Australia wouldn’t train on Tuesday, and that most of the squad was likely to “have the next few days off”.
England, also based out of a southeast Queensland hub, is similarly coming to grips with the strong possibility of missing out on its last match simulation.
The remaining members of the England squad will join their teammates in camp tomorrow after they are released from quarantine on the Gold Coast.
They’d have been available to play in a four-day intra-squad match at Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane this week but that hitout, like Australia’s, is unlikely to go ahead.
Despite the bumpy road to the first Test, Australian bowling coach Andrew McDonald indicated on Sunday there would be “no excuses” for a slow start to the Ashes.
“We’ve had fantastic facilities up here,” he said from Australia’s Gold Coast hub.
“The weather’s been challenging at times, but we’ve still been able to get out into the centre.
“Also, these guys have got a lot of Test experience to draw upon. So changing formats is something that they’ve been able to deal with across their careers.
“I think we’ll be really, really, really well-prepared.”
Originally published as Australia’s Ashes practice match ‘extremely unlikely’ to go ahead