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Thursday's Ashes gossip column - Australia v England

BREAKING GOSSIP

1245 GMT: Australia's selectors are expected to convene after Friday's cricket and prune their squad to 12 or 13 for the first Test. The main batting concern on Thursday was captain Ricky Ponting, dropped twice in the slips before again falling victim to a pull shot in his innings of 27 on a green, bowler-friendly Sydney Cricket Ground pitch which has seen 33 wickets fall in two days.
Full story: Herald Sun

1237 GMT: England paceman Stuart Broad tweets: "Epic Japanese feast. @swannyg66 lost credit card roulette, always a pleasure to get a free feed on him!"
Full story: Stuart Broad's Twitter feed

OTHER GOSSIP

England paceman Chris Tremlett believes the tourists' towering bowling attack will intimidate Australia's batsmen in the forthcoming Ashes series.
Full story: Daily Star

Former England coach Duncan Fletcher has warned that the biggest danger facing his old side down under is complacency.
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald

Ex-England captain Sir Ian Botham has welcomed eve-of-Ashes uncertainty in the Australian camp as "wonderful for English cricket". Botham predicts England will win the five-match series 3-1. (Wisden Cricketer magazine)

A reluctance to make hard calls after the 2009 Ashes has left Australia highly vulnerable in terms of batting and leadership, says former Test bowler Damien Fleming.
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald

Ex-England seamer Andrew Caddick is backing his country to retain the Ashes and feels spinner Graeme Swann will be the key man with the ball.
Full story: Bristol Evening Post

Australian cricket's governance may be radically altered as early as October 2011 as administrators fight the notion that the game in their country is in crisis. After answering questions on why the national team appears in such poor shape ahead of the Ashes, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland revealed a structural review would be complete in time for CA's next AGM in October 2011.
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald

AND FINALLY

The recession and plummeting exchange rate may have hit Ashes tour operators, but the Barmy Army expects to be out in force for what Paul Burnham, one of the co-founders 16 years ago, describes as "the dream trip".
Full story: the Times (subscription)


Listen to the Ashes live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and online (UK users only) - series starts 25 November 2010. Archive: Relive past Ashes series



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see also
Wednesday's Ashes gossip column
17 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Tuesday's Ashes gossip column
16 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Monday's Ashes gossip column
15 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Sunday's Ashes gossip column
14 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Saturday's Ashes gossip column
13 Nov 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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