The Ashes: ECB chief Harrison writes to Cricket Australia, wants England players involved in Sheffield Shield

The Ashes: England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison has written to Cricket Australia, asking the Australian board to involve young English players in the Sheffield Shield.

ECB chief keen for England players to feature in Sheffield Shield after Ashes loss (Reuters Photo)

ECB chief keen for England players to feature in Sheffield Shield after Ashes loss (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • ECB chief keen for England players to feature in Sheffield Shield after Ashes loss
  • Australian players already play in the County Championship as overseas signings
  • The Shield is Australia’s domestic first-class competition

England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) chief Tom Harrison has written to Cricket Australia to ask if they would allow young English players to feature in the Sheffield Shield. Harrison’s suggestion comes on the back of England’s poor show in the ongoing Ashes as Australia have already sealed the series after gaining a 3-0 unassailable lead.

Australian players already play in the County Championship as overseas signings. However, this is not the case with England players, as they do not get much opportunity to play in Australia’s competition, the Sheffield Shield. The Shield is Australia’s domestic first-class competition, but unlike the County Championship, the presence of overseas players is rare.

“The reality is we need to be spending a lot more time with players in Australian conditions. I’ve had a number of conversations with Cricket Australia and have written formally to Cricket Australia to ask if they would consider allowing us to put players into Sheffield Shield cricket, for example, as one significant change that we can bring to bear,” Harrison said in an interview with the BBC’s Test Match Special, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

“We’ve had to cancel a lot of individual player preparation plans – which would have involved time in Australia – due to the [Covid-19] pandemic, because effectively, Australia has been closed, and a number of other tours that were planned to enable us to get in better shape for this tour have had to be shelved,” he added.

“There’s a few good cricketers doing well in the BBL from England, and I think they could have a huge impact on Sheffield Shield cricket as well,” former England bowler Isa Guha told News Corp.

“Fans and broadcasters want a contest surely it’s in the interest of Cricket Australia to say, ‘yep, some of your players who are going to be part of the Ashes can come here and play in our Sheffield Shield for a few games.”

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