Disappointing to watch such dismantling of trust between cricket’s nations: Ian Healy on no tour game

New Delhi: Australia’s wicketkeeping great Ian Healy believes it is disappointing to see the dismantling of trust between nations that he thinks has caused the Test side to not have a tour game ahead of their four-match series against India, starting from February 9 in Nagpur.

Australia have adopted a no tour match policy since their tour of Pakistan last year, and is being continued for their all-important Test tour to India, played for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

They have also been practising with the players not involved in the Big Bash League (BBL) by replicating pitches which are roughed up and have cracks at the North Sydney Oval over the weekend before a five-day training camp takes place in Bengaluru ahead of the first Test, as Australia aim to win a series in India, something which hasn’t happened after 2004.

“We’ve gathered our spinners in Sydney for strategic talks (on replica India surfaces)… we no longer trust that the requested facilities will be provided for a nation. We’ve been part of this shenanigan too by the way… when we’re over (in England) we spend our time whinging about weakened County teams that England put up as our opposition before the series.”

“Our focus in cricket has shifted from creating opportunities and experiences for our best up and coming cricketers… now we deny touring teams quality preparation before very highly anticipated series and I don’t like it. It’s disappointing to watch such dismantling of trust between cricket’s nations and it needs to stop,” said Healy on SENQ’s Pat and Heals radio show.

Healy remarked that he would like to see a three-day tour match happen during a week-long interval between the second and third Test in New Delhi (February 17-21) and Dharamshala (March 1-5). “Touring teams seem to all struggle these days and here we go again, we’re going to India without a whole lot of Indian practice under our belts, let alone England later in the year where we haven’t won since 2001.”

“In India they’re hoping everything will click and the squad freshens up with net practice… our coaching staff are content with this and I’ll trust them for now, I would, however, like to see a tour match between the second and third Test in India… I’d love to see a three-day game so that our seven reserves (in the 18-man squad) we’ve got over there can have a good hit out.”

The series against Australia is of extreme importance for India, as a spot in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC), to be held in June 2023, is at stake.


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