Ashes 2019, England vs Australia: Handshake row erupts ahead of first Test in Birmingham: Reports
Ashes 2019, England vs Australia: According to a reports, skipper Joe Root and coach Trevor Bayliss weren’t asked about the inclusion of the football-esque ritual before the Test.Updated: Aug 01, 2019, 14:42 IST
The oldest rivalry in Test cricket is never shy of controversies and one such row has erupted ahead of the first Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday. According to reports, England captain Joe Root has been left unimpressed after it was revealed the two sets of players will shake hands to mark the beginning of the series.
According to a report in the Guardian, Root and coach Trevor Bayliss weren’t asked about the inclusion of the football-esque ritual before the Test and they are reportedly unhappy with it. The two were reportedly caught off-guard when they saw the greeting ceremony being on the events list during a meeting with match referee Ranjan Madugalle.
England’s ODI skipper Eoin Morgan had agreed for a similar ceremony last year and Paine and Co probably would have thought same would be accepted by Root as well. It will be interesting to see if England players go ahead and shake hands with their counterparts or they will snub the request which looks like a PR exercise.
Despite all these off-field issues, the game will take centre stage when the two teams clash in Birmingham. Australia head into the first Test at Edgbaston determined to complete “unfinished business” as they look to end their long record without a win at England’s ‘fortress’.
You have to go back to the 2001 Ashes for the last time Australia enjoyed a a victory of any kind at the Birmingham ground. That winless streak across all formats at Warwickshire’s headquarters was extended to 15 matches when they lost to England in a World Cup semi-final earlier this month. By contrast, England have won their last 11 internationals at the ground.