Changes flagged for future Ashes tours

England players could be given berths in Cricket ‘s Futures League competition as part of an agreement between the two boards aimed at making the Ashes more competitive.
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As applied the finishing touches to its 4-0 hammering of Joe Root’s side on Monday, senior officials from CA and the England and Wales Cricket Board began discussions about changing future Ashes tours.

There are worries from both countries over the one-sided nature of recent battles and, in particular, the massive advantage held by the home team. Only one visiting side has won a series since Steve Waugh’s ns retained the urn in 2001.

Although England won here in 2010/11, they were whitewashed in 2006/07 and 2013/14 and were comprehensively beaten this summer by an n team that started the series ranked fifth.

Among the areas being looked at are the schedule, quality of opposition in tour games and participation in each other’s domestic competitions.

England players would be given the chance to play in the Futures League, a second XI state competition, which would expose their players to n conditions.

It is more common to see ns playing in England’s first-class competition, which has 18 teams compared to six in the Sheffield Shield. This was point of bemusement for England coach Trevor Bayliss after the Adelaide Test.

The states have room for one international player on their lists but with the n season coinciding with England’s winter tours they are not seen as practical options. Leggie Mason Crane, who made his debut in the fifth Test, played for NSW last season but came over to play grade cricket in Sydney and was not on a state contract.

Both boards are concerned by the quality of opposition in tour games, which may result in more matches against the England Lions in ‘s future tours.

The last time a visiting team played an “A” side was in the 2010/11 series in , which mirrored the preceding Ashes in 2009.

will want to play warm up matches on venues that will stage a Test. It’s believed is the only full member nation which stages warm up matches at Test venues.

Acclimatising to foreign conditions will be less of an issue for Steve Smith’s men next year with the World Cup to be held in England before the Ashes.

The length of the tournament should provide opportunities for to practice with the red Dukes ball, particularly leading into matches against non-Test nations.

Smith, David Warner, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are all regulars in ‘s Test and one-day sides.

has already implemented strategies aimed at improving their chances of winning in England. CA started using the Dukes ball in last season’s Shield and bring them back again after the break for the Big Bash League.

The fallout has started from England’s poor campaign with Bayliss confirming he will step down after the 2019 series. While Bayliss has transformed England in the limited-overs arena, his Test record has been modest with 15 wins from 38 games and three from 19 away.

“I told Andrew Strauss probably 12 months ago that September 2019 I’m contracted to and that would see me out. I’ve never been anywhere any more than four of five years,” Bayliss said.

“Whether you’re going well or not I’ve always felt that roundabout that four-year mark is time to change. A new voice, a slightly different approach slightly reinvigorates things. So I passed that on him 12 months ago.”

Despite losing 4-0, England is unlikely to make wholesale changes for its series in New Zealand. But underperforming duo Mark Stoneman and James Vince may not get another chance back home if they do not lift against the Black Caps.

“It’s about slowly getting them (new players) involved, not necessarily in the team but around the squad to begin with and filtering them into the team when positions become available or when they force their way in,” Bayliss said.

“It’s not going to be an overnight success. If you bring three or four young blokes into the team it will be a slower process as they learn what the international game is about.”

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