Lehmann pleased with Ashes fixtures

Australia

Australia coach Darren Lehmann is not worried about getting acclimatised ahead of the Ashes in the UK next year, saying the tour fixtures and Tests against the West Indies will be more than enough.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann is not worried about getting acclimatised ahead of the Ashes in the UK next year, saying the tour fixtures and Tests against the West Indies will be more than enough.

The Ashes start in Cardiff on 12 July next year, with the Aussies playing two tour matches against county sides, Kent and Essex, and before that the Aussies will be in the Caribbean for two Tests. During the Ashes they will also face Derbyshire and Northamptonshire.

Lehmann said on Monday: "(Kent and Essex) are quality sides and like last time (2013 Ashes in UK) they'll probably drag a few players from other counties in to play.

"We really enjoy playing against the counties. It's a great lead-in for us. A bit more relaxed as you'd imagine but we've got to achieve some goals in those tour games as we did last time.

"We've got a tour game in West Indies, the two Test matches there, a 10-day lead-in in England and then another two tour games. So there's plenty of time for us to get acclimatised.

"Plenty of time to get used to the Dukes balls and pitches in England and also bowlers to be up and ready to go."

Meanwhile, Aussie skipper Michael Clarke has implored fans to go to Britain to cheer the team on as they look to retain the urn they won at home earlier this year. The Ashes in the UK in 2013 saw England win four-nil.

Clarke said: "Last summer at home the crowds got right behind us and it really spurred us on. All the boys were talking about the amazing crowd support and how incredible it was to play in front of packed houses around the country.

"It was an unbelievable feeling to have so many people behind us. To capture some of that support and have as much green and gold at grounds across the UK next year when we are playing on foreign soil would be a major bonus.

"We know there are plenty of Australians in the UK and for those that might be considering making the long journey, the efforts will certainly be appreciated by the team.

"In return for the support, we're determined to play attacking and entertaining cricket."

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