Australia’s decision not to hold warm-up games before WTC finals is fraught with danger, says Allan Border

The WTC Finals will be held at London’s The Oval from June 7-11, after which Australia will face arch-rivals England in a five-match Ashes tournament from June 16-July 31.

The Australian team will prepare for the six Tests by undergoing a high-intensity training camp at Beckenham, which includes center-wicket training and sessions at the net.

I don’t care how hard you work in the nets, nothing will replace playing time, Border told Fox Cricket.

It’s just wrong not to play cricket before the Ashes series. I just think it’s fraught … something’s eating at me, saying it’s the wrong decision, he added.

The Indian team will not play any warm-up games either, as the England Counties Championship is going on and also the WTC is an ICC event and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is not required to arrange practice matches for visiting teams.

However, this will be the first time in Ashes history that players from Down Under will not meet local county teams before or during a tour of England this winter.

Even before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India earlier this year, Australia opted for simulation drills instead of warm-up games.

The visitors ended up losing 1-2.

I’m really surprised that we allow the Ashes tour to be so compacted by not having cricket between games, but that’s the situation.

I get it, we have IPL and T20, I get it. The game is moving forward.

But I think we have an opportunity to go to England early and play a couple of matches … just to polish the game up a little bit, Border added.

To make sure England players are available for the Hundred tournament, which begins in early August, ECB squeezed the Ashes into a six-week window.

While Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Marcus Harris play in the County Championship, players from India will travel to England after completing their IPL appearances.

The rest of Australia’s Test squad recently completed a three-day training camp in Brisbane and will travel to England later this week.

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