Australia have poked fun at England’s pre-Ashes camp in Spain, saying they are focused on retaining the most treasured prize in Test cricket not ‘sunbaking’.
England are scheduled to fly to a secret location in Spain this weekend to get to know their new coach, the Australian Trevor Bayliss, and gear up for the five-Test series starting in Cardiff in a fortnight.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports England’s choice of location to prepare for the Ashes has raised eyebrows with the Australians, however, with the tourists instead travelling from London to Canterbury on Tuesday for the first of two four-day matches against county teams before the first Test.
ROGERS IN TROUBLE OVER HOSPITALITY PACKAGES
A company co-founded by Australia opener Chris Rogers has been banned from selling unauthorised hospitality packages to the Ashes Test at Lord’s for up to $5 820, reports The Telegraph.
Rogers, who is likely to open the batting for Australia in the Ashes, set up the company in May this year with his business partner Tom Scollay, an Australian cricketer who was released by the Middlesex club in 2014.
The pair both played for Middlesex, the county which has taken the action to prevent them selling the packages. Their company, Inside Edge Experience, was on Tuesday still advertising the sale of tickets and hospitality to all five days of the Lord’s Test via a post on its Facebook page.
The cheapest package, offering the chance to attend the Test from July 16‑20, was advertised for $2 512 (£1 756), while the most expensive, which included hotel accommodation in London, was priced at $5 820 (£2 910).
But Middlesex said on Friday that Rogers and Scollay were not permitted to sell the packages, and that they would ensure Inside Edge did not receive any tickets to sell on.
REBEL CRICKET LEAGUE TARGETS AUSSIES
Cricket Australia officials are aware that some Australian players have been spoken to by individuals representing would-be rebel league backers Essel Group but hope to strike a blow to the Indian company’s plans by finalising new deals with their centrally contracted players in England over the next week.
Pat Howard, CA’s executive general manager of team performance, is due to arrive in London on Friday and one of his first assignments will be holding contract meetings with the Ashes squad members who are among the 19 players on Australia’s contract list for 2015-16, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Those talks have a different context this week than in previous years because of the proposed rival organisation fronted by business tycoon Subhash Chandra’s Essel, the owner of India’s Zee Entertainment and the Ten Sports television network.
CA are well aware that Essel operatives have been in contact with their players, a development that provides further explanation for the governing body’s decision to offer some players multi-year contracts in the past month rather than the one-year retainers that have been more prevalent in recent years.
It’s understood some of the discussions with Essel representatives took place when the Australians were on the subcontinent in April and May for the Indian Premier League.