England in SA

England ready for tour opener

2009-11-05 18:28
Paul Collingwood (AFP)
Bloemfontein - After four days of quiet preparation, England open their tour of South Africa Friday with a 50-over match against the Eagles franchise team in Bloemfontein.

England have studiously avoided controversy and any temptation to make extravagant claims since they arrived last weekend.

They transferred directly to this quiet central South African city to take advantage of good practice facilities away from the limelight and big-city distractions.

Two solid days of net practice were followed by a middle practice on Wednesday to simulate match conditions before a thunderstorm cut them short. They were out in the middle again Thursday without any interruptions.

Veteran all-rounder Paul Collingwood told journalists Thursday that the players were satisfied with their efforts so far.

"We've been concentrating on our own preparation since we arrived here and not been too worried about any other issues," he said.

Collingwood said he expected a hard workout from the Eagles, who were runners-up in both domestic limited-over competitions last season.

"You know that when you are in Australia or South Africa the opposition are going to come hard at you and that they want to win," he said.

Eagles are likely to be capable opponents. They are captained by former South Africa player Boeta Dippenaar, who has had the opportunity to study many of the touring players during two seasons with English county Leicestershire.

The team includes wicketkeeper-batsman Morne van Wyk, who hit a record 168 not out in a 45-over franchise match last Friday, and four of South Africa's most promising young players in batsmen Rilee Rossouw, Reeza Hendricks and Dean Elgar and fast bowler CJ de Villiers.

The only leading player missing from the Eagles line-up is Ryan McLaren, who will join the South African limited-over squad Friday.

England have no fitness concerns apart from star batsman Kevin Pietersen, who will join the team only next week after recovering from a heel operation.

The tourists continue their warm-up phase with a match against the Warriors franchise in Kimberley Sunday and a 20-over contest against South Africa A in Bloemfontein next Tuesday.

The first of two Twenty20 internationals against South Africa will be in Johannesburg on November 13.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @04:00
  • SS4
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @05:00
  • SS5
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @05:59
  • SS7
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs

Of the four South African born players in the English cricket side, who would you most like to have a beer with at the end of the series?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.