Incoming head coach Trevor Bayliss is ready to throw himself into England’s Ashes preparations when he touches down today.
England’s first Australian coach has a short lead-in to the hotly-anticipated series – meeting captain Alastair Cook over dinner tomorrow, leading the squad on a get-to-know-you trip to Spain the following day and taking charge of his first Test on July 8.
It is a tough task to plot and impart a blueprint for success in that time-frame, but caretaker coach Paul Farbrace has at least left him a firm base to work from, drawing the Test series against New Zealand and winning both one-day and Twenty20 formats.
Speaking at Sydney airport, Bayliss said: “I’ll get to know the players, number one... apart from that, a little bit of planning before the Ashes.
“It’ll be some good fun, I think. I’ll be just doing things the way I normally do with any of the cricket teams I’ve been involved in and, hopefully, that means England playing some good cricket.
“Hopefully (there’ll be) two teams playing some good cricket, and it’s a win-win for the game of cricket. I’m confident of putting up a good show and if they play some good cricket, there’ll be a chance of winning.”
Only six of the much-improved limited-overs squad will join Bayliss in Spain, with just four (Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Mark Wood) expected to start the first Test in Cardiff.
But he is delighted at the momentum the white-ball group have created.
“It’s been quite exciting,” he added. “There are some new, young players in there with plenty of skill and plenty of enthusiasm.
“It sounds like they’re in a good place, it looks like they’re enjoying themselves out in the field and that’s the main thing.”
Australia opener Chris Rogers admits he has learned a lesson from trying to sell hospitality packages for the Lord’s Ashes Test, but denies any wrongdoing and is determined to swiftly put the controversy behind him.
Inside Edge Experience, run by Rogers and former Middlesex colleague Tom Scollay, was reportedly offering what it described as “a unique and exclusive opportunity to attend the sold-out second Ashes Test”.
The advertising for the package had disappeared from the company’s LinkedIn page on Wednesday morning, while its Facebook page could not be found and its website brought up a page reading “Inside Edge Experience is currently under development”.
Middlesex have withdrawn the tickets allocated to Inside Edge, while Cricket Australia said they were “satisfied all concerned set out with good intentions” over the “misunderstanding in the way they went about getting hold of the tickets.” Rogers maintains he acted in good faith.