Opposition beefed up for last England Ashes warm-up

Sydney: England`s opponents for their last warm-up match before next month`s first Ashes Test have been beefed up with the addition of a string of Australian internationals, Cricket Australia said on Thursday.

The tourists were originally scheduled to play a New South Wales XI and, according to a report in the Australian newspaper on Thursday, complained when they discovered the state would be playing a Sheffield Shield match concurrently.

Cricket Australia have apparently moved to ease England`s concerns that they would face a weak team by drafting Usman Khawaja, Phil Hughes, Ed Cowan, Aaron Finch and Adam Voges into what will now be an Invitational XI.

"We feel this match presents a good opportunity to give a core group of talented batsmen from a number of states, further experience against a strong international line-up," CA`s Pat Howard said.

"We continue to look for opportunities to develop our batsmen and taking part in matches like this only helps in that area. The ECB is supportive of this plan.”

"It wanted us to field a strong line-up, so we will use the opportunity to promote key players in the Australian system. In return, we look forward to the ECB fielding powerful teams for the touring Australian side in 2015."

The match will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground from November 13-16, a week before the first Ashes Test begins at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 21.