Australia’s decision to not play warm-up games ahead of WTC final “fraught with danger”, says Allan Border

Written by Mohan Sharma

Former captain Allan Border expressed concerns over Australia’s choice of not participating in any warm-up matches before the World Test Championship finalagainst India and the Ashes series, stating that the decision carries significant risks. He said the move is ‘fraught with danger’.

The WTC final is scheduled to be held at The Oval in London from June 7-11, following which Australia will take on arch-rivals England in the five-match Ashes from June 16 to July 31.

The Australian team will prepare for the six Tests by undergoing a high-intensity training camp in Beckenham, featuring centre-wicket practice and net sessions.

“I don’t care how hard you work in the nets, nothing replaces game time,” Border told ‘Fox Cricket’.

“It just doesn’t feel right not to play any cricket leading into an Ashes series. I just think that’s fraught with danger… there’s something gnawing at me saying it’s the wrong decision,” he added.

The Indian team too won’t play any warm-up game as the English County Championship is on and also the WTC being an ICC event, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is under no obligation to arrange practice matches for the visiting teams.

However, it will be the first time in Ashes history that the men from ‘Down Under’ won’t face any local county sides before or during this winter’s tour of England.
Even before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India earlier this year, Australia had opted for simulation training instead of playing warm-up games.

The visitors had ended up losing the fixture 1-2.

“I’m really surprised we’re just allowing the Ashes tour to be so condensed with no cricket between the games, but that’s the way it is.

“I get it, we’ve got IPLs and T20s, I understand. The game’s moved on. But I think there’s an opportunity there for us to go to England early and play a couple of games… just to polish things off a bit,” Border added.

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Mohan Sharma