England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO Tom Harrison has approached Cricket Australia (CA) for the inclusion of England players in the Sheffield Shield. In the past, Australian cricketers participating in the ongoing Ashes such as Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head and Michael Neser have traded their way into the County Championship 2021.
“The reality is that we need to spend more time with the players in Australian conditions. I have had several conversations with Cricket Australia and have written to Cricket Australia to formally ask whether they would consider allowing us players to join Sheffield Shield cricket, for example, as a significant change. in what we can bear. Harrison to BBC Test Match Special.
But in the Sheffield Shield, where there are six teams compared to 18 in the County Championship, there have been little opportunities for England players to play red-ball cricket in Australia. In March 2017, leg-spinner Mason Crane was the first overseas player in the playing XI for New South Wales since Pakistan all-rounder great Imran Khan in 1984–85.
“We have had to cancel a lot of individual player preparation plans – which will include time in Australia – due to the (Covid-19) pandemic because, effectively, Australia has been called off, and several other tours have been postponed. What was planned has had to be postponed to enable us to be in better shape for this tour,” Harrison said.
Former England fast bowler-turned-broadcaster Isa Guha felt that the heavy participation of England players in the Big Bash League could convince CA to play some of them in the Sheffield Shield. “Some of the best England cricketers are doing well in the BBL, and I think they can have a huge impact on Sheffield Shield cricket as well. Fans and broadcasters want a contest. Certainly, it is in Cricket Australia’s interest to say, ‘Yes, some of your players who are going to be part of the Ashes can come here and play in our Sheffield Shield for a few matches.’