Australians to keep injuries secret for Ashes: Report

Sydney: Australia will protect information about player injuries so as not to cede any competitive advantage to England in the coming Ashes series, a report said on Monday.

Officials will not divulge the nature of any injuries suffered unless the player is ruled out of a Test match, according to Cricket Australia`s general manager of team performance Pat Howard.

With the first Test getting underway at Brisbane`s Gabba on November 21, Michael Clarke`s side already has players unavailable through injury -- fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird, while the skipper has chronic back trouble.

But after losing the July-August Ashes series 3-0 in England, Australian officials are changing their approach, starting with the state of the team`s injuries.

"If a player suffers an injury that rules him out of the match, we`ll tell you," Howard told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"But if it doesn`t rule him out... we`ve got a chance to get a player up in a day or 36 hours to play. If he can play the Test match, and keep playing but he`s got a minor calf injury, really should we be telling you that?

"Every sportsman has got a little niggle. In a Test match, a player can play in 24 hours` time. We can turn injuries around in 24 to 48 hours... it`s not like some of the other sports."

The fact that players` fitness problems can be turned around so quickly in a five-day match with the help of the team`s medical staff has convinced Australian management that the less they say the better, the newspaper said.

Howard`s stance was endorsed by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland when it was announced at a briefing with senior CA officials in Sydney, it said.

"I don`t think we should be giving up competitive advantage in the middle of the game," Sutherland said.

After series losses in India and England -- Australia have won only one of their 10 Tests this year and that was in January against Sri Lanka in Sydney -- it appears any edge they can manage over the old enemy is being seized.

"We do think if we play our best we will win," Howard said.