Shhh! Ashes injuries a secret

2013-10-14 10:30
Michael Clarke (Getty Images)

Sydney - Australia will protect information about player injuries so as not to cede any competitive advantage to England in the coming Ashes series, a report said on Monday.

Officials will not divulge the nature of any injuries suffered unless the player is ruled out of a Test match, according to Cricket Australia's general manager of team performance Pat Howard.

With the first Test getting underway at Brisbane's Gabba on November 21, Michael Clarke's side already has players unavailable through injury -- fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird, while the skipper has chronic back trouble.

But after losing the July-August Ashes series 3-0 in England, Australian officials are changing their approach, starting with the state of the team's injuries.

"If a player suffers an injury that rules him out of the match, we'll tell you," Howard told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"But if it doesn't rule him out... we've got a chance to get a player up in a day or 36 hours to play. If he can play the Test match, and keep playing but he's got a minor calf injury, really should we be telling you that?

"Every sportsman has got a little niggle. In a Test match, a player can play in 24 hours' time. We can turn injuries around in 24 to 48 hours... it's not like some of the other sports."

The fact that players' fitness problems can be turned around so quickly in a five-day match with the help of the team's medical staff has convinced Australian management that the less they say the better, the newspaper said.

Howard's stance was endorsed by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland when it was announced at a briefing with senior CA officials in Sydney, it said.

"I don't think we should be giving up competitive advantage in the middle of the game," Sutherland said.

After series losses in India and England - Australia have won only one of their 10 Tests this year and that was in January against Sri Lanka in Sydney - it appears any edge they can manage over the old enemy is being seized.

"We do think if we play our best we will win," Howard said.

Read more on:    ashes  |  cricket

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