Sydney: Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, has acknowledged the need to “reset” England’s red-ball fortunes in the wake of an “exceptionally difficult” Ashes campaign, after insisting that “our priority is Test cricket”.
Speaking to reporters in Hobart, Harrison echoed the sentiments of England’s Test captain, Joe Root, who had called on the ECB to match the efforts they put into white-ball cricket in the wake of the 2015 World Cup – a focus that, four years later, delivered victory on home soil in the 2019 event.
And while England continue to excel across one-day formats – despite falling in the semi-finals at the T20 World Cup, they are the No. 1-ranked side in that format and No. 2 in ODIs – they are currently rock-bottom in the World Test Championship, and have won just one of their last 13 matches, with nine defeats.
England’s draw in Sydney last week was only their second non-defeat in 14 Tests in Australia, dating back to the 2013-14 whitewash, and came after a humiliating innings defeat in Melbourne in which England had surrendered the Ashes in just 12 days.”Our priority is Test cricket,” Harrison said. “We want to be successful at white-ball cricket, of course we do, but we absolutely need to be successful at Test cricket. “It feels like this is a moment to reset the importance of red-ball cricket in our domestic schedule, for us to recalibrate how we play first-class cricket in the UK. It’s a brilliant opportunity for us to come together as a game and really sort that once and for all.”
A review of the series is due to be compiled by Ashley Giles, the managing director of men’s cricket, and Mo Bobat.
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