England cricketers to train in Belgium for Ashes
The England cricket team is all set to chug along to Belgium on the Eurostar to get battle hardened for the first Ashes Test starting July 8 in Cardiff.cricket Updated: Jun 26, 2009 19:42 IST
The England cricket team is all set to chug along to Belgium on the Eurostar to get battle hardened for the first Ashes Test starting July 8 in Cardiff.
For any team, preparation for the Ashes is incomplete without a visit to the battlegrounds of Westeren Europe. Australia did it by visting Gallipolli (Turkey) in 2001 and Somme (France) in 2005 and now the England team is ready to embark on a secret trip to Belgium this weekend, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The daily said that England players were kept in dark about this trip but were asked to bring their passports to their Ashes training camp.
The team is expected to be in Belgium for two nights and the trip coincides with Armed Forces Day as a convenient bonus.
The outing marks the beginning of England's 12-day build-up to the first Ashes Test.
As England head off for the trip, the good news for the fans is that key batsman Kevin Pietersen and charismatic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff have recovered from their injuries and are raring to go.
"My Achilles is OK. I'm waking up every single morning now absolutely fine and able to do all my exercises and routines and drills pain-free. I can use a skipping rope now but three weeks ago, on the morning of the Holland game, I couldn't get down the stairs at my house," said Pietersen.
Pietersen said that he had worked hard on his rehabilitation programme in an effort to overcome the injury before the first Test.
"I have seen too many players going into big series injured and coming out the other end worse. The improvements have been huge and from the mental side of things that is important," he said.
First Published: Jun 26, 2009 19:41 IST