Sydney: Cricket Australia (CA) has reportedly indicated that it is prepared to send contenders for the return Ashes series from Australian states to play against England in tour games, in a bid to boost its own selection options.
England plays a Western Australia (WA) XI in Perth in a three-day match starting on October 31, clashing with a Sheffield Shield game between WA and Victoria at the MCG, followed by their final warm-up against a New South Wales (NSW) XI, which coincides with a Shield game between NSW and Queensland at the Gabba, the venue for the first Test.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the states are likely to release players of interest for the winter Ashes series in the tour games, with a CA spokesman saying that the move is no different from the England selectors using the warm up matches with Australia during the summer Ashes tour.
The spokesman further said that CA is working with the states, national selection panel and state talent managers in this process and have been doing so prior to the schedule being released this year.
Cook`s squad, which is intent on winning its fourth consecutive Ashes series, have more time to prepare than Australia`s one-day international players in India with Test aspirants such as George Bailey and Phillip Hughes having just two Shield games to stake their claims, the report added.