Tour match change upsets Shield sides

Australia

England's final tour opposition before the first Ashes Test has been changed from a New South Wales XI to an invitational side that features a number of Baggy Green players, and this had caused a bit of upset Down Under.

England's final tour opposition before the first Ashes Test has been changed from a New South Wales XI to an invitational side that features a number of Baggy Green players, and this had caused a bit of upset Down Under.

The Sheffield Shield runs alongside the warm-ups, so the new invitational side will draw from those Shield sides affected. England had requested a stronger competition than the NSW second XI they were due to face, and CA complied.

The players called away from their Shield duties were Usman Khawaja (Qld), Ed Cowan (Tas), Phil Hughes (SA), Aaron Finch (Vic) and Adam Voges (WA), which prompted some unimpressed reactions from their state bosses and coaches.

Voges' Western Australia chief Christina Matthews said: "All states knew there would be some importing of players across these games. It wasn't quite expected the way it's turned out.

"We understand the principle. We probably would have just enjoyed a bit more conversation about who that player was going to be. It's pretty hard for us to keep losing our captain."

Queensland coach Stuart Law said of Khawaja's new role: "Naturally we are disappointed at losing a key player but on the flipside it'll give us a chance to pick another player who can show us what he's got."

Law added that he hoped England would be as accommodating the next time the sides met in the UK: "The one thing out of it is I very much hope that after this the ECB is just as fair dinkum when Australia goes back with the composition of their teams."

CA performance manager Pat Howard said the ECB had already agreed to the same terms, saying: "In return, we look forward to the ECB fielding powerful teams for the touring Australian side in 2015."

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