The excitement surrounding the 2019 Ashes between Australia and England is on an escalation. The opening game is set to start on August 1 at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. However, prior to the high-voltage series, the atmosphere off the field seems to be a bit heated up. Joe Root, England’s Test skipper, and head coach Trevor Bayliss are reportedly not happy with Tim Paine’s handshake tradition.
Paine, who took over as the Aussie skipper back in March 2018, implemented the pre-game handshake between teams at the start of every Test series as a way of rebuilding their image after the ball-tampering scandal at the Newlands in Cape Town. Meanwhile, Root and Bayliss notified Ranjan Madugalle, the ICC match referee, that they were not consulted on the handshake ceremony.
“Root, while not looking to stoke up ill-feeling between the teams, is said to be less than convinced of the necessity for what is essentially a PR move, not least since it does not take place before any other Test series,” a report in The Guardian mentioned. It’s not yet clear whether that pre-match handshake between the two sides will take place or not.
Root not concerned about Australian players’ behaviour
Last year, Eoin Morgan, the Brits’ limited-overs skipper, agreed to the same when the Aussies played a five-match ODI series and a one-off T20I. Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner, all of whom got banned in the shambolic saga in South Africa last year, are expected to be a part of the first Test. But Root isn’t bothered about how the Aussie players would behave.
“We’ll see how that unfolds in the course of the series. To be honest, their behaviour doesn’t really concern me. The thing that concerns me is that we go about things in our own way. It’s really important we look after that and don’t get too wrapped up in how they play their cricket,” Root was quoted as saying.
Australia are the current holders of the Ashes, having won it at home in their last meeting. But they haven’t beaten the Three Lions in the high-profile series on English soil ever since 2001. England is recently coming off a victory versus Ireland at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
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